Älvkarleby Hydro Power Station
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.