The biomass cogeneration plant in Krems was opened on Thursday after about two years of construction. The system will provide heat to 30,000 families and electricity to 15,000 families in Krems and the surrounding area. Until now, the central heating network has been supplied with gas.
Right now, October is still warm in late summer, but the next heating season is definitely coming. In due course, the biomass cogeneration plant was commissioned on Thursday. The district’s heating supply will be completely converted to CO2-neutral natural heat from biomass, and electricity will be generated from renewable resources. The operation of the system is expected to save 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year.
At the official opening ceremony, Krems Mayor Reinhard Resch (SPÖ) was satisfied. “We have an ambitious goal of achieving energy self-sufficiency by 2030. “This biomass power plant is really a blessing and a milestone,” says Resch. “There is also great appeal among residents. “It is contemporary. “Climate, energy and mobility are the issues of the moment and we want to be at the forefront,” the mayor said.
270 thousand cubic meters of wood chips annually
To operate the plant, 270,000 cubic meters of wood chips are purchased from farmers and foresters in the region every year. “We basically buy gas from abroad, and the biomass is local. This biomass that we have here in Krems comes from Waldviertel. This means it has short transportation routes and is sustainably available,” said Franz Mittermeier, EVN board member.
With the opening of the biomass cogeneration plant, EVN’s last large heating network has been converted from fossil gas to environmentally friendly biomass. “We already have some of these plants in operation and we will continue to build them. This means that we will continue to build such plants as long as we have sustainable raw materials available in our state,” Mittermaier said of future plans. Project costs in Krems amounted to about 30 million euros.
For the first time, biomass is greater than gas
However, the biomass cogeneration plant is not just a milestone for Krems. The state of Lower Austria wants to further encourage the expansion of environmentally friendly energy sources such as biomass. “There are more than 800 larger biomass heating plants like this in local communities. For the first time we have been able to heat more households using biomass – wood chips – than with gas. This means that biomass It overcomes the gas.” Bernkopf said that this would contribute to independence and added value in the region.
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