First months of 2018 marked by favourable hydrological conditions for electricity generation
The developer of the largest hydropower project currently under way in Slovenia, the company HESS recently commemorated the 10th anniversary since its foundation. It was founded in 2008 with a mission to carry out a cost-effective construction of a chain of hydroelectric power plants on the lower course of the river Sava and to provide safe and reliable electricity generation by harnessing renewable energy sources. However, it was not until 1 October 2010 that the company launched its formal operations, hired its first employees and moved into its own business premises in Brežice. Currently, the company, with its team of 46 people, sees to the operation and maintenance of four hydroelectric power plants: HPP Boštanj, HPP Arto-Blanca, HPP Krško and HPP Brežice. Still ahead of us is the construction of the last planned hydroelectric power plant in the lower Sava chain, HPP Mokrice. The construction of this last hydroelectric power plant is crucial because it is the only way we will be able to fully utilize the planned capacity of the hydroelectric power plants on the lower course of the Sava and the maximum flexibility offered by the chain as a whole.
The goals of the company HESS, as set forth in our Development Plan, are tied primarily to providing safe and reliable electricity generation, which is our core activity, and to build new, environment-friendly electric power generation facilities. The construction of the chain of hydroelectric power plants on the lower course of the river Sava was designed as a multipurpose project encompassing infrastructural modifications and configurations, which are being implemented by the company Infra d.o.o. acting on behalf of the concession awarding authority (the Republic of Slovenia, specifically the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning). Through cooperation and infrastructural modifications and configurations, we are able to provide the local environment with flood protection, well-maintained watercourses, farmland irrigation, groundwater protection, raised water table and the resulting preservation of drinking water supplies. The multipurpose project to build hydroelectric power plants also presents opportunities for economic revitalization, job creation, reconfiguration of the local infrastructure and opening of new road connections, and offers numerous possibilities for the development of tourism and sporting activities as well as improvement of the quality of living.
As in previous years, our focus continues to be on providing quality, safe and reliable operation and maintenance of the completed hydroelectric power plants and on carrying out optimal investment management activities. The first three months of this year were marked by favourable hydrological conditions, which, among other things, resulted in an increased electricity generation output, exceeding the target by as much as 25%. From January to March 2018, HPP Boštanj, HPP Arto-Blanca, HPP Krško and HPP Brežice generated a combined total of 200 GWh of electricity, of which 62.8 GWh was contributed by HPP Brežice alone. In addition to the electricity from the hydropower plants, in the first quarter the company also generated 17,736 kWh of electricity at its solar power plant MFE Evrovartrade, installed in Kisovec.
Apart from regular power plant operation, we also carried out maintenance activities at HPP Boštanj, HPP Arto-Blanca, HPP Krško and HPP Brežice, comprising planned preventive and predictive maintenance and mandatory equipment inspections.