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Altering the construction plan
When construction was scheduled to begin, Vattenfall encountered resistance from the local community of Sami, the indigenous inhabitants of the northern parts of Sweden. Their main objection was that the power station would have an invasive impact on their reindeer management.
The general director of Vattenfall at the time, Åke Rusck, ensured that the development of Letsi Power Station was altered in many ways to show greater consideration for the local environment and community. While the power sector’s primary ambition was to develop hydro power at the lowest cost available, this was not the case in Letsi.
Construction began in 1960 and Letsi Hydro Power Station was first commissioned in 1967, using Francis turbines, firmly erected in the bedrock 136 metres below ground level.
Characteristics of the Luleälv
Hydro power is a reliable, safe and renewable source of energy. Today, hydro power accounts for nearly half of Sweden’s total electricity demand. The Luleälv, by which Letsi is located, is Vattenfall’s and Sweden’s most important river for hydro power generation.