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The opening ceremony of Steinriegel II wind farm

“Let’s go up to the turbine again…”

This phrase was rolling off everyone’s tongue 10 years ago, when the Steinriegel I wind turbines were installed on the Rattener Alm. These ‘gentle giants’ soon became a popular visitor attraction, and their high visibility has turned them into landmarks, helping hikers find their way.

On Sunday, the 7 June 2015 we held a special celebration on the Rattener Alm, marking both the completion of our Steinriegel II extension project and the 10th anniversary of Steinriegel I. The parishes of Langenwang and Ratten gladly organised the event, with the active support of their fire brigades. Both ECOwind, responsible for the construction and operational management, teamed up with Wien Energie, the wind farm owners, contributed to the success of the event. The organisation and dedication of the Langenwang and Ratten voluntary fire brigades made sure that between 2000 and 3000 visitors were well supplied with food and drink. We would like to express our thanks for their support, for which they deserve a huge pat on the back.

Before everyone rushed for food, however, Peter Weberhofer officiated a mountainside mass during which he gave the wind farm his benediction and Susanna Zapreva, Managing Director of Wien Energie, kicked off the speeches to the guests. The mayors of Langenwang and Ratten, Rudolf Hofbauer and Thomas Heim, included a special surprise in their speeches. Both insisted on dedicating a piece of music to Hans Janker. The march in question, appropriately named ‘With the force of the wind’ was composed by Franz Meierhofer, the well-known composer and singer-songwriter from St. Kathrein am Hauenstein. The première performance was enjoyed on the mountainside, surrounded by the wind turbines. Visibly overwhelmed, Hans Janker, CEO of ECOwind, took to the lectern in order to thank the local authorities and citizens for the close, successful partnership that ECOwind has enjoyed with them for many years. Mr Erwin Gruber, Member of the Styrian Parliament, then wrapped up the speeches, talking about the environmental friendliness of wind energy.

In typical mountain festival spirit, helped along by the glorious weather, the numerous guests were then able to explore the inside of a wind turbine on an e-mountain bike – or even try out two elevating experiences. Prangl had organised a crane and a passenger basket to take visitors to new heights, while others could take a helicopter ride to enjoy an aerial view of the wind farm. An bouncy castle with slide provided fun for younger guests, as did the line-up of entertainment provided by IG Wind, while the ECOwind information desk provided visitors with information about what goes on during the construction phase of a wind farm project.

In association with competent partners, ECOwind managed to complete the Steinriegel II extension – which includes 11 Enercon E-70 units – between May and November 2014. The Steinriegel I and II wind farms comprise a total of 21 turbines, have a total capacity of 38.3 MW and produce around 75,600 MWh of electricity per year. The farms supply around 24,000 local households, saving the environment 45,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

ECOwind would like to that the fire brigades of Langenwang and Ratten, the local authorities and citizens and all those involved in the project. We are particularly pleased to have the continued backing of local citizens, even 10 years after the first turbines were installed in the region around the Steinriegel.

The opening ceremony of Steinriegel II wind farm zoom