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The Achille Gaggia hydroelectric power plant in Soverzene

The Achille Gaggia hydroelectric power plant in Soverzene


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The project

The Achille Gaggia hydroelectric power plant in Soverzene

The Achille Gaggia power plant, a pioneer of the Italian electricity industry, is located in Soverzene, in the province of Belluno, Veneto. The plant was designed in 1939 by engineers Carlo Semenza, who handled the hydraulic aspects, and Mario Mainardis, who handled the electrical aspects. The architectural design was the work of Giuseppe Mingozzi, a technician for the Società Adriatica di Elettricità (SADE).

Work began in 1942 but was suspended the following year due to events related to World War II. The power plant became operational in 1951. It was designed to meet the technical and functional characteristics of a "pilot plant", that is, a regulating plant for the entire Belluno Alpine hydroelectric system. The plant, which has four turbines, uses water from the Piave River and its tributary streams the Boite, Val Montina, Vajont, and Val Gallina.

The entrance, which is connected to the engine room via the access gallery, is decorated with mosaics by artist Mario Deluigi. The vault of the engine room is decorated with allegorical paintings by Walter Resentera.

In addition to providing light and color to the space, the mosaics in the power plant feature an axonometric depiction of the set of dams, tunnels, and power plants that made up the Piave-Boite-Maè-Vajont hydroelectric plant complex.

A stylized drawing of a light bulb







Operating Capacity

221.5 MW


Energy production:

about 662 GWh per year

Average production achieved in the last three representative years.


CO2 emissions avoided

303,506 metric tons per year



Energy needs met

245,000 households



Impact on local communities

The plant is the main industrial activity in the municipality of Soverzene. During the last public opening event, it recorded about 3,000 visitors in a single day.

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