Energa Upgrades Hydro Power Plant in Borowo
Energa Group has completed the upgrade of an over 100-year-old hydro power plant in Borowo. The investment project increases the volume of electricity production from renewable energy sources (RES).
Energa Wytwarzanie SA, a member of Energa Group, has completed a comprehensive upgrade of a hydro power plan on the Drawa River in Borowo (Zachodniopomorskie Province). The purpose was to increase the electricity output and streamline the operation. It will improve significantly the plant’s operating availability in the years to come. The upgrade has increased the share of RES production, and thus also the share of renewable energy capacity in the production mix of the entire Energa Group.
The Borowo hydro power plant is not only a production facility, but also an interesting architectural landmark, attractively located in a large forest on the Drawa River. It was built between 1916 and 1918, replacing a water-powered sawmill. Given its unique architecture, the upgrade of the hydro power plant was conducted with utmost care in order to preserve all of its historic highlights. In spite of its historic nature, the Borowo hydro power plant of today is a modern, completely eco-compatible production facility, powered by a new high-performance 0.75 MWe Kaplan water turbine and the necessary accompanying infrastructure. Before the upgrade, the plant’s rated power was ca. 0.9 MWe; now it is 1.661 MWe.
In addition to new equipment, also the existing devices were upgraded. For instance, the plant’s SN-15 kV medium-voltage switchgear and the control and protection equipment of other hydro power units were replaced. The existing overhead transformer station was decommissioned, and new dry-type unit transformers were installed inside the building.
“Replacing the original equipment with a much more efficient new hydro power unit means that we will be able to increase our energy output significantly. The estimated annual increase will be ca. 24%. This investment project is also an answer to the need for better air quality as signalled by the local community of the Kalisz Pomorski Municipality,” says Adam Galanek, Vice-President of the Management Board of Energa Wytwarzanie SA.
The upgrade works started in April 2018 and ended on schedule in October. In late January, Energa Wytwarzanie received the permit required by the Water Law to commission the power plant.
Following the start of the operation, the newly installed turbine will take over the mean annual flow as the leading turbine. The exiting hydro power units will be kept in the production reserve for peak flows.
“The upgrade of the Borowo hydro power plant is another successfully completed project designed to increase the production of energy from sustainable sources,” says Piotr Meler, President of the Management Board of Energa Wytwarzanie SA. “RES energy production is one of our priorities. As a part of our efforts to optimize environmentally friendly production and implement innovation on the Polish market, we will launch the country’s largest energy storage system in Bystra in a couple of months. A pilot version of photovoltaic panels on the water is another example of our pro-environmental activities. We also plan upgrades of more hydrotechnical facilities in foreseeable future.”
The upgrade of the Borowo power plant cost ca. PLN 6 million. The investment project was implemented partly with the own funds of the Generation Business Line (ca. PLN 3.3 million), and with a grant from the Regional Operational Programme for the Zachodniopomorskie Province 2014–2020 (Priority Axis II Low-carbon economy, Measure 2.10 Increased use of renewable sources) – ca PLN 2.7 million. Gajek Engineering Sp. z o.o., a Gdańsk-based company, was the general contractor for the project.