“In Italy, there are almost 60. They are small plants from 50 to 250 kW, often in small rural locations or in the mountains, where collaboration with local administration is very important.”
The first action of the Mini-Hydro Italia project was the implementation of the new Mignano hydroelectric plant (200 kW), a small plant located in Campolongo sul Brenta (Vicenza) designed for energy recovery of the minimum vital outflow. Within the existing transverse, built in the 1940s to power the Ca Barzizza hydroelectric plant (9 MW), we inserted a new turbine to produce energy from the release of the minimum vital outflow of the dam.
Besides the plant, we built a stretch of cycle and foot track that joins the current walkway on the transverse between the towns of Campolongo sul Brenta and Solagna, as well as an electric car charging station.
“This is the first case in EGP history of a charging plant near a production plant. This is “zero kilometre” energy that is directly usable by the end user.”
“The sustainability of this plant was already present in the design of the larger plant, because it engages the hydraulic system of the existing transverse built to power the Bassano plant”, Giuseppe Cutano explains. “With a turbine-alternator group installed inside the existing construction, we added value to a resource of the territory by developing a project that prioritises safeguarding the environment, the rational use of resources and local entrepreneurship”.
“The impact on the landscape was virtually null and the transformer rooms of the plant were carried out in harmony with the urban context of the area. The electro-mechanical components of the plant all come from companies in Veneto.”
Later, we moved to the small town Perrero (Turin), where our mini-hydroelectric plant “Michele Tessore” (50 kW) is located. It was built in the 1930s to power a part of the small mountain village, known for the Waldensian community present there. The plant played an important role for the development of the local economy of that time and remained operational until the 1980s, when it fell into disuse because of its age.
The works of reactivation are currently in progress and will include the complete replacement of the machinery and a conservative renovation of the central building and the canal. It will be operational starting in September 2017. With the old machinery, we’ll create a small open-air museum for the entire local community.
The Mini-Hydro Italia project continues, and soon we will move to many other Italian regions to renew our plants and participate in the life of the territories where we work.