Čierny Váh – Technical wonder of Slovakia near  the Tatras

Čierny Váh – Technical wonder of Slovakia near the Tatras

NatureShow me Slovakia27. March 2020

The Hydroelectric Power Station Čierny Váh is our largest pumped-storage power plant and also the largest hydroelectric power plant in Slovakia with an installed capacity of 735.16 MW. It is not for nothing that it is a technical wonder of Slovakia.

Water Reservoir Čierny Váh

The Čierny Váh reservoir is the highest situated hydroelectric power plant in Slovakia and a popular place for tourists and visitors to Liptov.

The Čierny Váh pumped storage power plant consists of an upper and a lower reservoir. These are interconnected by three underground pipes. They overcome almost a half-kilometer height difference. Both reservoirs are attractive for tourists.

Water Reservoir Čierny Váh. Source: Slovenské elektrárne.

Attraction for tourists

Čierny Váh is located in a beautiful mountain environment and the main attraction for visitors is a breathtaking view from the upper reservoir to the entire upper Liptov and the panorama of the Tatras. The upper reservoir is located in the territory of the Low Tatras National Park at an altitude of 1160 meters.

Water Reservoir. Source: Slovenské elektrárne.
Water Reservoir. Source: Slovenské elektrárne.

Technical Wonder of Slovakia

The power plant itself is situated at the lower tank. It has an irreplaceable role in the energy sector for regulating imbalances in the grid. If electricity is scarce, it can run into turbine operation, that is, to generate electricity in a record 70 seconds.

The plant can produce up to 3800 MWh of electricity from the water in the top tank in just five and a half hours. Usually at night, when there is enough or surplus electricity, the water is pumped back to the upper tank.

Interesting facts

  • The world’s largest battery system – 400 Tesla Powerpack 2 batteries, the same as Tesla uses in its latest electric cars, can store only 80 MWh of energy. The Čierny Váh power plant will produce so much in just seven minutes.
  • To fill the tank, the Danube, which has an average flow rate of 2025 m3 / s in Bratislava, would need about 30 minutes.
  • The Niagara waterfall with a flow rate of 110,000 m3 / min would supply the reservoir with more than half an hour.
  • The Čierny Váh pumped storage power plant can “store” up to nearly 4,000 MWH of energy, approximately as much as 160,000 conventional electric batteries or as much as 1300 households consume per year.
Technical Wonder of Slovakia. Source: Slovenské elektrárne.

How do I get here?

Several routes lead to this place. However, only the lower tank is accessible by car.

There are hiking trails and marked cycling routes lead to the upper reservoir. For example, one of them starts in Východná, continues through the Black Valley along the slopes up to the reservoir. Good physical condition is essential. Beware, however, bears, which are in the surrounding mountains numerous.

Hydroelectric power plant Čierny Váh. Source: Pixabay.

Hikers and cyclists must therefore climb approximately six kilometers of steep climb. However, people choose an easier way to admire the technical unique and panoramic view and drive by cars or motorbikes.

However, the access road is private and is prohibited from being driven by motor vehicles, as indicated by the traffic sign. Anyone who enters the road without permission risk fines. Entry is prohibited for visitors’ safety but also for the water reservoir itself.

If you get a permit at Lesy SR (branch Liptovský Hrádok), you can drive to the upper reservoir by car. During the winter months, however, you can forget about the car, you can get here by foot or on skis.

PVE Čierny Váh, Slovakia.

Forest Cemetery Čierny Váh

About 1 km from the water reservoir there is the Forest Cemetery Čierny Váh, which you can also visit. Settlement and cemetery of former forest passengers in the second half of the 18th century on the territory of Kráľova Lehota. Part of the cemetery is the Chapel of Sts. Trinity and wooden belfry.

In case you would like to share your experince from visiting Čierny Váh, I will be extremely happy if you send me an e-mail to info@showmeslovakia.eu.