Årvik power plant

Putting the Årvik power plant into operation has secured a broader income base for the farms, and it has helped maintain the settlement. The Aanderaa family are active operators of the power plant, and they have a short commute to work!

Early history

Alternative sources of income and the ability to innovate have been essential for the formation of a village society. Årvik is a brilliant example of this, and the ability to use the water as a source of income extends far back in time. Årvik’s history has been characterised by its ability to use water as an energy source from the very first settlement. Permission was granted to operate a sawmill in the river as early as in 1500. Learn more about Årvik’s history here.


In 2003, landowner Rolf Helge Aanderaa took important steps to realise his wish to put the river to work once again. He acknowledged that it was both challenging and risky to build a power plant on his own, which led him to enter into an agreement with Småkraft. Småkraft provided expertise and capital, and the landowners, Rolf Helge Aanderaa and Signe Kvellestad, provided the water and necessary fall height. Thus the foundation for the power project was laid.

The project

The implementation of the project is an example of good craftsmanship. Årvik is an solid and well-built facility, which has taken the surrounding nature into account. Småkraft converted the former sand roof into a power plant in a way that deserves respect.

By ensuring experienced project management and experienced contractors, the goal of using the river in a good and gentle way has been achieved with a clear margin. The collaboration between Småkraft, landowners and political leaders in Ullensvang has been of inestimable importance in the initial phases of the project.

The Pelton turbine has six nozzles with a maximum flow rate of 2.9 m3/s. It runs a 5490 kVA, 6600 V generator. All power is converted up to 22 kV and delivered to the grid. The intake dam is built as a gravity dam in reinforced concrete with an intake consisting of a grate and sliding hatch. It has been adapted to the terrain on site. The cast iron penstock with a diameter of 1 metre is 980 metres long and is entirely buried.

The power station building, 100 m2 in size, was constructed in accordance with Småkraft’s aesthetic guidelines. The building stands on a former gravel pit and is well adapted to its surroundings.

In order to deliver the power to the grid, it has been necessary to upgrade the grid between Maurangersnes and Årvik.

Technical data

Rainfall field

13.4 km²

Minimum water flow

Summer: 100 l/s

Intake elevation

210 m

Power station elevation

8,0 m

Drop height

202 m


15,8 GWh
This corresponds to electricity 988 households.