The wind turbines of Energiepark Bruck/Leitha were built in the year 2000. Since 2009 the wind farm has been operated by the company Verbund AG, Austria’s leading electricity company as well as a key player for hydropower electricity in Europe. Bruck an der Leitha is located in Lower Austria, a flat and windy region, both of which are perfect conditions for a windfarm. Students climbed a winding staircase, made up of 279 stairs onto the viewing platform of a 65-meter-high wind turbine. On this sunny windy day, one could feel the staircase moving with the rotations of the turbine’s sails, which added just the right amount of thrill to the trip. The costs of production, though quite high, have reduced over the years, due to innovations and an increase in demand. Fortunately, only minimal maintenance is required, and wind turbines eventually pay for themselves, making it a highly efficient form of green energy.
The biogas plant of Bruck/Leitha has been operational since 2004, in 2014 it was converted to produce biomethane gas. Students were informed about the extensive process of fermenting food and products from the feed industry to produce biogas, converted by various scientific methods involving heat and power. The biogas is fed into the gas grid to create electricity and heat. The biproducts of fermentation are used for fertilization in the agricultural industry. Thanks to the research performed by TU Professor Michael Harasek and his team, a new type of biogas production was born at this facility and the patented product is now being sold all over the world. This impressive invention is a major step towards reducing the use of fossil fuels, which have been detrimental to the environment.
Nowadays people are so disconnected with the origin of an end-product, that appreciation is lost. First-hand experiences and excursions like these can hopefully inspire more people to strive for a greener footprint in the future.
Report by Nadja Messinger, ETIA13