Giant kettle helps keep Vienna warm

Giant kettle helps keep Vienna warm

As a partner in the Leopoldau Thermal Power Plant established in 2017, the new ‘energy-heating’ facility, the ‘Giant Boiler’, is now also operating in Spittelau. The primary task of the power plant, which intelligently connects the electricity grids and district heating, is to take advantage of the surplus energy produced by wind power plants, i.e. energy that is not currently needed by the electric grid and that would otherwise be lost.

In the case of strong winds, the “boiler” is turned on within a few minutes, which receives the excess energy and actually boils the water to 155 ° C to help warm the area. Since the operation of the new power plant is based on purely renewable energy, it also contributes to the gradual independence of Vienna from natural gas, the Foreign Ministry of the City of Vienna wrote in its declaration.

Power plants ensure the stability of the electrical grid in all conditions when you are not getting the amount of electricity you need. If little power is produced, the Simmering power plant, built to prevent blackouts, runs on the system as a fire extinguisher. And if there is an oversupply of electricity, the “boilers” of Leopoldau and Spitelau step in to take advantage of the surplus. Incidentally, since commissioning, Leopoldau has already generated a total of 38,000 megawatt-hours of heat using excess electricity. Accordingly, it is likely that the €4.9 million investment that was intended to build the new power plant in Spittelau for Wien Energie will also pay off, they note.

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A comfortable resting area for power company employees was created on the roof of the Hundertwasser-style power plant. Raised beds are created on the balcony, covered with special eco-concrete, where it is possible to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. Moreover, in the spirit of biodiversity, the Spittelau power plant can be proud of its beehive.

Opening photo: Wien Energie / Christian Hofer

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