Ljøsåa power plant

The idea of a power plant project was conceived in 1999, when Svein and Turid Stave began seriously considering utilising the waterfall into the Ljøsåa river for electrical power.


The financial situation for agriculture and forestry has developed in a positive direction in recent years, so a hydropower plant would be a welcome contribution to the economy of Øksendalen. The people of the village first considered developing the plant on their own. However, given the steep terrain and the acknowledgement that value creation from a power project would require expertise led to the decision to find a partner who could manage the complexity of such a project. They began negotiations with several development companies and needed time to make a decision. Based on an overall assessment, Småkraft AS was selected for partnership and a cooperation agreement was signed in 2004. The deciding factor for landowner Stave was financial solidity and professional expertise at Småkraft. The Ljøsåa power plant is a good example of a rapid and cost-effective development.

The project

Ljøsåa power plant utilises a fall of 374 metres into the Ljøsåa river, which flows into Usma in Sunndal municipality. The licence was granted in November 2006, and the power plant was completed in September 2008. The construction itself was completed within 15 months. Implementation of the project moved quickly, and the facility was actually built under the estimated budget. The power plant is expected to deliver an annual power production of just over 7 GW.

Technical information

The turbine is a 4-nozzle vertical Pelton. Maximum flow rate is 0.65 m³/s and it runs a 2770 kVA generator. All power is converted up to 22 kV and is delivered to the grid. The intake is established as a pool at elevation 447. The concrete dam is about 20 metres long and 3-4 metres high to ensure an intake free of ice. The cast iron penstock is 600 mm in diameter, 1455 metres long, and is entirely buried. The power station building is constructed in wood and glass, and solutions were chosen for the interior to minimise building volume and to ensure lower construction costs, even with the use of good materials.

Technical data

Rainfall field

5.7 km²

Minimum water flow

Summer: 60 l/s

Intake elevation

447 m

Power station elevation

74,0 m

Drop height

373 m


7,0 GWh
This corresponds to electricity 438 households.