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Hydroelectric

In terms of installed generation capacity and energy efficiency, hydropower is the most exploited renewable energy source in the world.

This is also the case of Italy, thanks to a suitable soil tipology and water availability.

The operating principle of a hydropower plant is very simple: mechanical energy turns into electricity.

The potential energy of the water coming from high altitudes, moving downstream through rivers, canals and waterways, is converted into electrical energy through special turbines. The primary source is rainwater.

The power of a hydraulic system depends on two key elements:

  • The water jump, i.e. the height difference between the altitude where water is taken and the level to which is returned after passing through the turbine
  • The flow rate, i.e. the quantity of water passing through the turbine in the unit of time

In case of a series of hydropower plants, water is collected at the exit of the first one and is sent to the second one to be used on a new jump. This way, proceeding downstream, the volume of water increases due to the contribution of new inputs. Water is therefore used several times inside the plants to better exploit its energy content.

Hydropower plants fall into 3 basic groups:

  • Run of river power stations:  when plants are located on the waterway
  • Pump-storage power stations:  when plants pump water uphill to a reservoir at a higher level than the lower
  • Power stations with reservoir: when water is stored in a basin/reservoir through a dam. This is the most common hydropower plant scheme.

Our hydropower production dates back to the early 1900s.

The Company’s portfolio currently includes 15 hydropower plants located in northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont), basically divided into:

  • run of river power plants
  • power stations with reservoir


They are a key asset either from a production and from an artistic point of view (some facilities were built in Art Nouveau style).

Hydropower contributes to the Sustainable Energy Development, meaningful to stress our long lasting commitment towards the Environment.

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