Hydropower Rock Engineering R&D

This programme develops tools, guidelines, techniques and descriptions to carry out maintenance measures and investments cost-effectively at the right time and with the right quality. The programme takes a holistic approach to rock related issue from an applied perspective and includes, for example, foundation issues, inspection of water-filled tunnels, environmental issues and health and safety issues.

Many hydropower companies have limited knowledge of the status of their rock facilities. Swedish hydropower development was most intensive between 1940 and 1970. Many power plants were built underground, with internal waterways in rock. The lifespan of power plant tunnels is normally assumed to be between 50 and 100 years, so there are many power plant tunnels that have already reached their lifespan. The rock has been taken for granted for many years, with limited resources devoted to maintenance and management.

As facilities age, the need for inspection and action increases, and major R&D efforts are needed to solve various problems, such as the inspection of water-filled rock tunnels. The programme looks at the rock issue in a broad sense, but there is also a need to look at issues such as foundation design, environmentally hazardous substances and ventilation in underground facilities.

In addition to concrete problems that need to be solved, there is also a need for meeting places where hydropower rock issues can be discussed. This is particularly important now that many plant owners are asking how to inspect plants and how maintenance can be done cost-effectively.

Area Manager

Emma Hagner
+46 8 677 27 53

More information

All our Swedish reports have an English summary. Learn more about our work: Vattenkraftens bergfrågor