The Wehra Dam - Safe, solid and dependable
Two kilometres above the town of Wehr, Wehra reservoir was created between 1971 and 1974 as the lower reservoir of Wehr underground hydropower plant by constructing a 50-metre-high rockfill dam.
The material used to fill the dam mostly consists of rock quarried during construction of the power plant’s underground structures and excavated while building the inspection gallery. The dam is protected from water ingress on the water side by a two-layer asphalt concrete surface seal with intermediate drainage and an accessible cut-off wall embedded in the rock. A grout wall up to 25 metres deep also seals the sub-surface.
The Wehra Dam is continuously monitored by automated measuring systems.
Being able to store electricity in large quantities and generate it within seconds when needed is now more important than ever. The sun and the wind have long been playing their part in generating electricity in Germany and are producing an ever increasing share. Yet these generation sources fluctuate depending on the weather and are unreliable. Pumped-storage power plants come into play when too much electricity overloads the grid or a lack of electricity threatens the supply. They work within seconds, produce zero emissions and generate outputs that rank them among the best of all available storage technologies.
How pumped-storage power plants work
Pumped-storage plants consist of an upper and lower basin. Between them are power plants, which pump water uphill if there is excess electricity and allow it to flow down again through turbines to generate electricity when power is needed. They are precisely tailored to meet the needs of the grid at all times. As such, they help to secure the supply – cleanly, effectively and reliably.
With its five pumped-storage power plants, Schluchseewerk AG is one of Germany’s largest suppliers and leading experts. As a partner to its shareholders, it oversees the safe and reliable operation of all its facilities, thereby helping to stabilise the power grid and playing its part in safeguarding the energy supply for today and tomorrow. Schluchseewerk – we are driven by water!
Facts and figures
- 400,000 cubic meters of rockfill material were needed to construct the Wehra Dam
- Wehra reservoir is the lower reservoir of Wehr underground hydropower plant and has an active storage capacity of 4.3 million cubic metres of water
- At the point where the Wehra flows out of Wehra reservoir, a small-scale hydropower plant has been built specifically for the production of renewable energy and is capable of generating up to 1.3 megawatts of power
- The Wehra Dam: Crest length 235 metres, crest width 5.3 metres, height 50 metres above the foundation bed, of which 37 metres visible