Statkraft will use a major part of the energy potential that is available in the Tokke-Vinje water system and has been granted the rights to expand the Vesle Kjela power plant with an intake in the existing Kjelavatnet regulation reservoir in Vinje municipality in Telemark.
The Vesle Kjela power plant is included as a new section in an already existing regulation. The so-called Tokke system was constructed from the 1960s and has eight power plants in total and a total annual production of 4.3 TWh. Vesle Kjela power plant has a calculated annual production of approx. 25 GWh. The power plant will be constructed contingent on satisfactory finances.
Effects on the environment and nature
The construction of Vesle Kjela power plant will contribute to increased production of renewable energy in Norway. This will take place in an area where power production is important locally. Statkraft uses the infrastructure that has already been established with Kjela power plant and avoids new significant interference in the area.
The tips for the tunnel rubble, the door into the power station, ventilation tower and gatehouse, as well as reduced the flow of water between Vesle Kjelavatnet and the intake to the transfer tunnel to Førsvatnet, will be the only visible signs of the development.
Society and extended effects
The station will help to secure jobs at Statkraft. The development will contribute to adding value locally and employment during the construction period.
The size of the power plant ensures that local business interests will be able to secure commissions and deliveries in connection with the plant works. Furthermore, the municipality will be provided with annual income in the form of taxes and fees associated with the operation of the power plant. The existing electric network (22 kV) will be upgraded which will also benefit the local community.
The power plant will also be able to contribute to securing the power supply for the local community.
Technical plan From the bypass tunnel the water is first run via a vertical shaft, then a short skew tunnel to the power station which is located deep in the mountain under the current bypass tunnel. From here there will be a long tail flow tunnel, 1,170 metres, with a cross section of approx. 22m2. The access to the power station will take place via existing roads and an access tunnel that is approx. 250 metres long.
In the power station a vertical Francis turbine will be installed, dimensioned for 13 m3/s and a nominal output of 5 MW. The energy will be transferred to Vest Telemark Kraftlag’s (VTK) 22 kV line in the area.