HydroPower Never Looked This Cool

Hydropower Never Looked This Cool
‘We thought it should live up to the surroundings’: Øvre Forsland hydroelectric station. Photograph: Pedro Alvarez for the Observer

Hydropower is a fantastic way of generating free energy and is renewable energy’s oldest technology. In Norway, they have made the most out of their beautiful landscapes and have used this to their advantage. Located in the Hedgeland district in northern Norway, it’s the perfect environment for housing their hydroelectric power station and has the ability to supplies up to 1,600 homes.

The power station was designed by Norwegian firm Stein Hamre Arkitektkontor and is relatively small compared to those that were built in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.  Ovre Forsland benefits from a 157-meter drop in the Forsland River and uses two turbines to generate the electricity for residents and can produce around 30 GWh.

As well as providing a renewable energy source for some of Norway’s residents, Ovre Forsland also aims to bring the more good press to the world of hydropower in hopes of tempting others to adopt this great technology too.  It also attracts many visitors to the station through the like of hikers who can peek through a tear in the exterior of the building to see the turbines inside.

Torkil Nersund is production manager at the plant and states,” The community around us has built up because of the energy resources in the area, but many people have forgotten because it was another generation that built them.  We want to educate Norwegians and also [foreign] tourists about the hydropower in Norway, and how it can work in harmony with nature.”

The building itself is built using Kebony wood which is a sustainable wood and has been used in various projects including beach huts in Camber Sands, England and a restaurant in Hawaii, United States.  The power station has already received quite a lot of publicity while it has been in existence, and is likely to continue as more people recognize the significant benefits and potential there is in using hydropower.

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