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 land’s nature 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 small rivers, canals and waterways, is converted into electrical energy through special turbines. The primary source is rainwater.

A hydroelectric power plant consists of:

  • a water collection system, suitable to soil’s nature and watercourse bed
  • a pipe, conveying water
  • a turbine, turning potential water energy into mechanical energy
  • a generator, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy
  • a control and regulation system monitoring water flow.

Hydropower plants fall into 3 basic groups:

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


Italgen’s hydropower production dates back to the early 1900s.

Our Company’s portfolio currently includes 15 hydropower plants located in northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto and Piedmont), divided into two main types:

  • run of river power plants
  • power stations with reservoir

They represent a key asset either from the production or 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.

Cookies help us to provide our services. For additional details, Read more.