Pylon of the Month - April 2023
April 22, 2023
As winter starts to recede in the rearview mirror and the skiing season draws to a close, April's Pylon of the Month comes from St. Anton in Austria. The last time an Austrian pylon featured on the blog was back in May 2011. A colleague sent this picture my way in the middle of her holiday with the good news that she had so far managed to avoid skiing into it. The padding around the bottom would suggest that isn't the case for everyone! Anyway, a quick check of the invaluable Open Infrastructure Map reveals that the valley in which St. Anton sits has quite a few pylon lines running along it, so it is hard to be sure exactly which line this particular pylon is on. It's good to see that sustainability is important to the area with the St. Anton Am Arlberg website proclaiming that:
An important and unique project in the world of ski resorts is the independent power supply. In 2005, the Kartell power plant was expanded and the Kartell lake put into operation. This reservoir, which is also a tourist attraction, holds around eight million cubic meters of water and supplies around 33 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The entire storage volume of the Kartellsee is used again by the existing Rosanna power plant. This means that St. Anton am Arlberg has been self-sufficient in electricity supply since 2006.
I can't find the specific power plants mentioned above on the Wikipedia List of Power Stations in Austria page but that could well be because of naming issues in English and German. It is clear, however, that pumped hydropower is big in that part of Austria as you would expect from the terrain. The nearby Kaunertal Power Plant is an example and it generates around 661 Gigawatt hours of electrical energy in a typical year. You can even visit it, so if you find yourself in the area in winter and fancy a day away from the slopes, then this looks like a must-see for all fans of winter sports and electrical infrastructure.
That's all for now, but as always, you can head to Pylon of the Month on Twitter if you want pylons to be a more regular part of your life.