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New hydroelectric power plant opened in Styria

A massive hydroelectric power plant has gone online at Gössendorf south of Graz.

Styrian energy company Energie Steiermark and Verbund invested €90 million in the project of which 15 million were for environmental measures to create a power plant providing electricity to 23,000 homes.

The plant was officially switched on by regional governor Franz Voves who said it was one of the most important regional renewable energy projects ever.

The plant means a saving of 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. The project managers also said that over 90 per cent of the money invested in the project had been spent on using domestic firms such as Andritz AG.

For the two years it took to build the project there was employment for 1,000 workers in Styria and there are also spin-offs including a number of leisure activities now available along the river Mur - and better protection from flooding for the locals living in the region.

Electricity from water is one of the most important energy sources in Austria with more than 100 major powerplants operated by Verbund, of which 40 are in Styria.

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