Category Archives: dams

Adda river hydro power plants

During one of my MTB rides at the Cancano lakes I stumbled into this beatifull dam which is part of the A2A Hydro power of Valtellina : 8 hydro power plants from cancano lakes down to Stazzona near Tirano using water coming from the Adda river and from other 4 different basins :

  • San Giacomo : 10MW
  • Braulio : 19 MW
  • Premadio : 226 MW
  • Grosio : 428 MW
  • Grosotto/Boscaccia : 13 MW
  • Lovero 49 MW
  • Stazzona : 30 MW

Adda river continues is ride down to Po river and in the mean time produces some other Hydro power in 4 hydro power plants that have been sold to EDF :

  • Bertini : 12,5MW
  • Taccani : 11 MW
  • Semenza : 7 MW
  • Esterle : 32 MW

and then into some other small powerplants :

  • Rusca : 7 MW
  • Italgen Vaprio : 21 MW
  • Crespi (Adda Energia) : No data
  • Adda S.Anna : No data
  • Fara : 1 MW
  • Muzza : 2,5 MW
  • Maleo : 4,5 MW
  • Pizzighettone : 3 MW

A total of around 900 MW of clean, renewable, hydroelectric power!

Technology how it should be

This weekend I had a chance to visit Esterle Hydroelectric power plant, one of the power plants I pass by riding near the Adda river with my MTB. This plant was finished in 1914 to make electricity for Milano cable cars. Francis turbines, Brown-Boveri Alternators for a total of 30 MW unattended production. Yes unattended because nobody works at the plant anymore : everyting is controlled by Sondrio control room. Plant needed a major maintenance in the 90s for replacing the turbines and after that nothing else, all regulations are done from remote.

This is 1914 technology and it is still working today after more than 100 years (100 years I repeat this ..), a gold mine for the owners ( which are selling to EDF (the national french electricity provider).

The location is beautifull (could be used for Steampunk happenings) and the building is in ‘eclettico lombardo’ style.