The Słupia, the Radunia, and the Wierzyca are rivers whose location and energy of water flow was taken advantage of to build hydroelectric power plants. Many of them are still operating and can be visited. The oldest such power plant in Europe, Struga, or the Radunia’s highest-situated plant in Bielkowo, are only a few of the facilities well worth seeing. The principles of physics, chemistry, and mathematics are contained in machines and post-industrial sites, and presented at thematic exhibitions, such as in the Hewelianum Centre.
The hydroelectric power plant in Gałąźnia Mała
Gałąźnia Mała is a small village on the Słupia, within the "Valley of the Słupia" Landscape Park. It is home to the most beautiful and largest of all hydro plants on the Słupia.
The picturesquely-located facility, which resembles a castle on water, was constructed in 1914. The first stage of construction was launched, and the turbines and generators were assembled. The entire facility was handed over in 1920. Due to its technological solutions, the Gałąźnia Mała power station was the largest and most advanced plant its type in northern Europe. The structure's might is evidenced by the enormous pipelines transporting water to the plant building, the height difference between the inlet and outlet being 36 metres. The technological solutions used here served as a pattern for similar facilities across Europe. The turbine and generators operating today are the same ones that were installed nearly 100 years ago, produced by Gotha - a German company. They can generate a total power of 3.7 MW.
Now the power plant building hosts a museum established by the employees of the Słupsk Hydroelectric Power Plants. Inside, organised groups can get to know the fascinating history of Central Pomerania's hydro plants.
A visit to Gałąźnia Mała is never a waste of time - there you can see what one of the first sources of clean energy in Europe looked like. You can make the observation that Central Pomerania was once at the leading edge of introducing innovative technologies.
Autor: J.Musioł, LOT Kaszuby Bytowskie
Foto: M.Bieliński - Dep.Turystyki UMWP