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Älvkarleby Hydro Power Station

Älvkarleby Hydro Power Station
Älvkarleby Hydro Power Station – one of the first in Sweden. The first hydro power stations in Sweden – Olidan (Göta Älv River), Porjus (Lule Älv River) and Älvkarleby (Dalälven River) – were primarily built in the early 1900s to supply power to the railways and surrounding industries. This was the start of hydro power development and a major step forward for Swedish industry. The Dalälven River runs through the heartland of the Swedish mining industry. Many mills have been established along the river, which has also been used for large-scale log driving (floating). Today, Vattenfall has three power stations on the Dalälven River: Näs, Söderfors and Älvkarleby, of which Älvkarleby has the largest installed capacity, 116 MW.

History and characteristics about Älvkarleby Power Station

Älvkarleby Hydro Power Station is located 8 kilometres from the Dalälven River’s outflow into the Baltic Sea. Älvkarleby was an important settlement as long ago as in the Bronze Age – the salmon fishing is probably what attracted people to the area. The Dalälven River has remained a popular river for angling, even after construction of the power stations. Downstream of the power station 15 tonnes of salmon and sea trout are caught each year.

Älvkarleby was Vattenfall’s third largest project after Olidan Power Station in Trollhättan and Porjus Power Station in the north of the country. The purpose of the Älvkarleby power station was to provide electricity to central Sweden. It was designed by the architect Erik Josephson, who also designed Olidan Power Station. Älvkarleby initially had an installed capacity of 70 MW, but the output has been increased over time and is now 125 MW.

One day in June each year, on Fallens Dag (Waterfall Day), Älvkarleby becomes the site of a breathtaking spectacle as the water is released and allowed to flow freely over the falls. At Vattenfall’s fish-breeding station, Laxöfisket, on the island of Laxön in Älvkarleby, the salmon are examined and selected for breeding.

The new power station

All the dams were replaced in about 1990 and the new dams were in similar positions to the old ones. The concrete of the original dams was badly leached, so the power station was enlarged; in 1988–1991 a new station was built adjacent to the old one.