Central Pomerania’s tourist attractions include the hydroelectric power plants on the Słupia and the Łupawa, as well as their tributaries. The oldest of them date back to the 19th Century, such as the Struga Power Plant, established in 1896 on the Słupia, where the original water turbine is still working, making it the oldest active hydroelectric power plant in the world. The Gałąźnia Mała hydroelectric power plant, built in the early 20th Century, once the largest such structure in northern Europe and a model for similar facilities, is considered the most beautifully-located of these. Very often the places in which the power plants operate have a long history of using the energy from flowing water for human purposes. This is the case at least with the Skarszów Dolny power plant, located by the Skotawa, a tributary of the Słupia, which originally featured a water-propelled paper mill on the foundations of which now stands the building of the power plant.
Nine of these power plants operating in the region have been made available to tourists. You can visit all Słupia’s hydro plants and three on the Łupawa. The fascinating technical solutions of the plants themselves, as well as their accompanying hydrotechnical structures such as weirs, canals, dams, and pipelines, enjoy great popularity among tourists, particularly canoeists, who gladly turn their heads from the slightly monotonous beauty of the landscape to take a look at historic power generation technologies. The hydro plant in Gałąźnia Mała is considered the most interesting from the tourist point of view, which, besides the operating power equipment, features an exhibition that shows the development of hydrotechnical thought and the various applications that man has invented to take advantage of flowing water.
The hydroelectric power plants on the Słupia and the Łupawa are well worth visiting, if only to learn that using renewable energy sources is by no means an invention of our time.