In pursuing its businesses, CEZ Group implements various projects designed to help improve the residents’ quality of life.
On November 9, 2010, the Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic and representatives of ČEZ signed a Declaration of Strategic Cooperation on Air and Climate Protection. By this declaration, which has no the partners agreed to reduce air emissions of pollutants beyond what is required by existing legislation. At the same time, there will be a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, which will be achieved directly in power plants operated by CEZ Group in the Czech Republic.
CEZ Group has signed similar voluntary agreements on environmental protection and mitigation of environmental burdens with the Association of Regions and with the Ústí Region.
A similar project is “Supply of Heat from Dětmarovice Power Station and a New District Heat Supply Network in Bohumín”. In recognition of this project, CEZ Group and the City of Bohumín received an honorable mention from the jury in the nationwide competition Czech Energy and Environmental Project/Innovation. The jury awarded the prize for the project’s contribution toward improving air quality in the city. The project, which involved building an entirely new district heat network in the city itself and connecting it to the Dětmarovice Power Station, led directly to the shutdown of 57 local boiler houses. These boiler houses, which used to release 11.5 tons of nitrogen oxides into the air each year, no longer constitute an environmental burden. The competition, currently in its 9th year, is organized jointly by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Local Development of the Czech Republic, and takes place under the patronage of the Chairman of the Government of the Czech Republic Petr Nečas, Vice Chairman of the Committee for Industry, Research, and Energy of the European Parliament Evžen Tošenovský, cabinet ministers, and other leaders.
“It was definitely worth digging up the city for. The new heating system is environmentallyfriendly and our residents save about 20% on their heat and hot water bills. Supplies of heat to our city are assured for many years into the future, with no need for us to invest in the municipal boiler houses,” said Petr Vícha, Mayor of Bohumín.
Another worthy project is the renovation of Malešická Street in the Kozina district of the city. The local streets got new blacktop, a sidewalk with parking spots for cars, and new street lamps. The renovation took place during 2011.
CEZ Group’s coal-fired power plants have a large, professional fire protection and response unit that, until the end of 2010, operated under the name Fire Rescue Squad. In addition to the Tušimice and Prunéřov Power Stations, which have a single station between them, there are fire stations at the Mělník, Dětmarovice, Tisová, and Počerady Power Stations. Company firemen also watch over the safe operation of the Chvaletice Power Station, and they help out in its surrounding area as well. As part of the integrated rescue system, in 2011 they were called out to extinguish a fire at the nearby coal storage facility in Zdechovice and burning garbage by a COOP shop in Chvaletice. They also responded at a traffic accident that occurred near Chvaletice. Most of their calls, however, are to industrial events.
“We provided technical assistance in 74 cases. We were called out to fix heating water pipes that had burst, we helped to transport fuel to the power plant during a period of very low, freezing temperatures, we put out a fire at the dump, and we helped ensure transport of fuel from the storage facility to keep the power plant running, and we also pump and haul water. In three cases, we provided first aid. Since the beginning of the year we opened elevator cabins six times to free people stuck in them,” said Jaroslav Brožek, Chief of the Fire Protection Unit.
In mid-October 2011, volunteer firemen were received a NISSAN PICK-UP fire response vehicle as a gift from CEZ Group. They were presented the keys by the Mayor of the Town of Mohelno, Jiří Kostelník, in a ceremony held in honor of the occasion. The vehicle had been used at Dukovany Nuclear Power Station and when the fleet was renewed, it was offered to firemen in the vicinity of the plant.
In late 2011, four towns and one city received Christmas gifts from ČEZ. In front of the Temelín Nuclear Power Station, their representatives received the keys to Škoda Fabia Combi cars. These were the 13th–17th utility vehicles so donated by ČEZ in South Bohemia. The towns will use the vehicles primarily for providing social services. Just a few days later, another two vehicles went to the Town of Olešník and the Municipality of Dolní Bukovsko.
On December 2, 2011, President of the Olomouc Region Martin Tesařík presented CEZ Group with a certificate that the Dlouhé Stráně pumped-storage hydro power plant won in the “Seven Wonders of the Olomouc Region” survey. The purpose of the survey is to promote places of interest in the region. From January to October 2011, Dlouhé Stráně received 83,405 visitors, 46,089 of whom took a tour of the power plant and reservoir and another 37,316 took the cable-car ride to the upper pumped-storage plant’s upper reservoir. 2011 marked 15 years since the turboaggregates were put into operation. Dlouhé Stráně pumped-storage hydro power plant boasts three “biggests”: it has the biggest reverse water turbine in Europe (325 MW), the biggest head in the Czech Republic (534 meters), and the biggest installed capacity (650 MW) of all CEZ Group’s hydro power plants. ČEZ is pleased that the plant is also the most mentioned power plant in the mass media.
In early August 2010, three districts in North Bohemia – Liberec, Česká Lípa, and Děčín – were hit by a flash flood. ČEZ Distribuce announced a state of emergency in all three districts. The high water destroyed roads, took out bridges, people could not get to their homes, and many people lost their homes altogether. CEZ Group’s customers responded to an offer from ČEZ Prodej of one month of free electricity for the flood’s victims. In the Liberec and Ústí Regions, the discount provided by CEZ Group totaled nearly CZK 4.5 million. Eligible for the offer were households and small businesses, and it was closely coordinated with the mayors of affected towns, to ensure that the aid got to those who needed it most. Customers could register for the discount until the end of September by calling the CEZ Group Customer Line or by visiting the company’s contact locations. In addition, CEZ Group offered affected customers a free visit from a specialist technicians to determine whether it is possible and safe to reconnect their homes to the grid.
CEZ Group also responds to the changing situation and demand throughout the entire Czech Republic. In late July 2011, work began on a ČEZ Distribuce strategic CAPEX project – the Jablonec South 110/22(10) kV transformer stations. The principal objective of this project, with a price tag of CZK 320 million, is to increase distribution grid capacity and enable new customers to be connected at this location. The project is slated for completion in mid-2012. Another CZK 50 million will be invested in medium-voltage lines to bring additional electricity to the City of Jablonec nad Nisou. Until then, restrictions put in place to ensure reliable and safe delivery of electricity to existing connections in Jablonec nad Nisou made it impossible to connect additional customers, with the exception of customers in categories C and D (i.e., retail household and retail commercial customers connected to the low-voltage grid) subject to a maximum connection capacity of 3x25 A.
In 2010, a boom in new housing in the Town of Jílové and its surrounding area necessitated capital expenditures to enable us to connect new customers. We built new distribution transformer stations, extended the low-voltage grid, and rebuilt medium-voltage power lines that had reached the end of their useful lifetimes. The work is designed to provide high-quality, reliable deliveries of electricity to this location.
Another big opportunity for power and heat generation is the construction of incinerators that burn unsorted municipal waste that today lies unutilized and rotting at waste dumps. EU landfill directives relating are getting everstricter and the Union is putting pressure on its Member States to utilize waste to generate energy. Incinerating waste to generate heat is one of the most viable ways of disposing of waste while at the same time reducing consumption of valuable and ever-moreexpensive coal. Municipal waste is quite suitable for use as a fuel: in terms of heat content it is fully comparable with the brown coal that CEZ Group uses in North Bohemia. In the course of its combustion testing, CEZ Group ran tests in which it co-combusted waste in its power plants. The tests were designed to determine which process technologies and fuel ratios yield the best results.