The world’s first-ever shaft hydropower plant, a hydropower plant consisting of a turbine hidden in a shaft in the riverbed of Loisach River in Bavaria has gone online. The hydropower plant is a concept that was created at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Ideally, it is supposed to allow fish to pass freely over the power plant on their migration downstream when the fish are usually dragged by the strong currents towards the plant turbine and grids.
This new form of design is not going to divert the course of the river as conventional plants usually would but instead, a shaft housing the turbine and the generator is dug into the riverbed upstream of a weir. The water flows into the shaft, drives the turbine, and is then returned to the river under the weir. A smaller part of the water flows over the shaft and past the weir.