Hričov hydroelectric power plant is the first control stage of the second (geographically) Váh cascade. Also emptying into the Hričov reservoir in addition to the Váh river are the Kysuca and Rajčianka rivers, on which there are no water works and therefore their waters bring in at increased flow rates large amounts of impurities, whereby the reservoir gets foul. Two thirds of the original reservoir capacity of 8.5 million m3 are estimated to have got already fouled, thereby imposing restrictions on the reservoir retention capabilities and the possibilities for HPP peak-load operation. To cover the system increased demands for peak-laod power supply, the maximum turbine flow was designed to 133 m3 sec-1, in total for the whole HPP to 400 m3 sec-1.
Slovenské elektrárne operates 31 hydroelectric plants. Their combined output is 1,652.7 MW, representing approximately 38.4% of the Company’s total installed capacity. Majority of the installations is located on the Váh River cascade, or the longest river in Slovakia. On average, the hydroelectric sources generate 2,070 MW annually (consumption of pumped storage power stations excluded), or some 11% of the electricity produced by Slovenské elektrárne.
Because of their very variable power output and operational flexibility, hydroelectric plants are capable to satisfy the swiftly changing demands in the daily-load diagram, pairing nicely with the base load supply covered by nuclear power plants. Slovenské elektrárne has 736.6 MW installed in river hydropower plants and 916.4 MW in pumped storage power stations.