Official opening of the Malmelva power plant


The landowners at Malmeelva power plant and Småkraft held an official opening!

Småkraft always prefers to arrange the opening of a new power plant together with the landowners. Malmelva is the only hydropower plant in Hustavika municipality, which we at Småkraft think is extra special. We look forward to many years of production and collaboration with the landowners.

The article below was written by Romsdals Budstikke –

Energised landowners cheer for the Malmelva power plant

The wheels of bureaucracy rotated at a snail’s pace, and the patience of the landowners was wearing thin, but in the end, the Malmelva power plant became a reality. Ole Nekstad (83) and the group of landowners celebrated with an energising snack on Tuesday.

Energetic landowners: Ole Nekstad (front) has been the main driving force behind the hydropower plant in Malmeelva. Here together with landowner Jan Malme, Anny Malme, Petter Indrøy from Småkraft AS (left), and Odd Melsæter (in the back). PHOTO: EIRIK HEEN
It glows in quiet villages: From the Malmeelva power plant on opening day Tuesday. PHOTO: EIRIK HEEN

The Malmelva power plant was put into operation over two years ago, and has since then produced around 6 GWh a year. This little river power plant with a drop of 64 meters actually produces enough electricity to cover the annual consumption of at least 1,000 people. And revenues continue to stream in.

60-year agreement

The rights to the fall have been leased to Småkraft AS for 60 years, and the company now has 218 small-scale power plants in operation, which in total produce enough electricity to meet the needs of the city of Bergen. The development of the Malmelva power plant cost NOK 30.5 million, but will surely pay for itself many times over in the future.

Flowers for Ole: Jan Malme presented flowers to Ole Nekstad for his tireless efforts for the power plant in Malmeelva. On the right in the picture, landowner Knut Andreas Eidem and Tina Rasmussen from Småkraft AS. PHOTO: EIRIK HEEN

A total of 17 landowners have waterfall rights and have entered into an agreement with Småkraft. One of them is 83-year-old Ole Nekstad. He is considered the driving force behind the power plant development in Malmelva. For this reason, he was presented with flowers and kind words from another landowner, Jan Malme, on behalf of the landowner group. And this was celebrated with some energising coffee and marzipan cake.

Long battle

“We fought a long battle against the bureaucracy at NVE. It took around 15 years before we could put the first shovel in the ground. But now the plant is a reality, and that’s what matters. Everyone is happy. At least for now,” chuckled Ole Nekstad.

Good spirits: Bjørn and Anny Malme thoroughly enjoyed the cake party for the power plant. PHOTO: EIRIK HEEN

We are then informed that he is actually no longer the landowner, nor does he have the waterfall rights, because Ole has sold the farm. Yet this is still a dream come true, as Malmelva is now producing green and renewable hydropower.

Almost no water flow

Incidentally, there was almost no water flowing in the Malmelva river on the day of the official opening. This was just before the power plant came to a halt, as there was so little water. But rest assured, the water was at a much higher level earlier this autumn. Jermund Vågen, head of agriculture in Hustadvika municipality, cut the ribbon on the opening day. We were told that Malmelva power plant is the only hydropower plant in the entire municipality.

Productive river: Malmeelva now generates electricity to cover the annual consumption for 1000 people. From left, agricultural manager Jermund Vågen and landowners Jan Malme, Anne Mari Melsæter Alvestad, Knut Andreas Eidem, and Odd Melsæter. PHOTO: EIRIK HEEN
Productive river: Malmeelva now generates electricity to cover the annual consumption for 1000 people. From left, agricultural manager Jermund Vågen and landowners Jan Malme, Anne Mari Melsæter Alvestad, Knut Andreas Eidem, and Odd Melsæter. PHOTO: EIRIK HEEN

“Opening a small-scale power plant together with the village landowners is always a huge event. Today, Småkraft opened four such power plants in rural areas. This is primarily about good collaboration with local farmers and landowners. These power plants help keep villages and farms alive all over the country, and in Sweden, where we have over 40 small-scale power plants. Developing hydropower in Norway requires a great deal of patience, but we have achieved a lot, and it is a pleasure to see how well this power plant works now that everything is up and running,” says David Tveito, operations director at Småkraft AS.

Published: Tuesday, 15 November 2022

About Småkraft AS:

  • With an annual power production that exceeds 1.9 TWh and with more than 200 power plants in operation in Norway and Sweden, Småkraft is the largest producer of small-scale hydropower in Europe.
  • Småkraft partners with more than 750 local landowners to produce renewable energy.
  • Småkraft has 27 employees at its offices in Bergen, Flatanger, Harstad, Lillestrøm, Sandnes, Verdal, Oslo and Uppsala.


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