Øyrabekken power plant

The Øyrabekken power plant is located in Hesvik, in Jondal municipality, with outflow to Hardangerfjorden. In Hesvik, they have been using hydropower for hundreds of years to run the stamp mill, sawmill, and fulling mill. During the interwar period, they also produced their own electricity.

Magne Eikenes has a farm that produces its own power from a small brook. This power plant, from 1956, provides electricity for lighting and heat, as well as belt-driven power for his saws.

In order to utilise the far larger Øyrabekken river, landowners Håkon Jensen and Magne Eikenes entered into a partnership with Småkraft AS in 2003. The power plant was granted a licence in 2005 and construction began in April 2006.

The Øyrabekken power plant had its official opening on 11 April 2007, in the presence of the landowners, workers, mayor and invited guests.

Collaboration between Småkraft and landowners on operations has proven to be a quick and efficient way to solve problems that arise, especially with local operators. The plant has had highly stable operations, with only a few minor issues at the start.

The watercourse is located in a somewhat challenging terrain, which meant that untraditional solutions were required for the penstock. Due to the sparse terrain at the top, a prefabricated penstock pipe was bolted to the rock, while the bottom part of the pipe was buried. Collaboration with the local contractor has been excellent. Framework agreements with equipment suppliers have also yielded both good and cost-effective results.

One of the most important factors for a good implementation is constructive collaboration between landowners and Småkraft. Another essential factor for success is the ability to solve problems as they appear, and in a constructive manner, without resorting to bureaucratic processes. Construction was completed by the planned deadline and within the budget. This is not always the case for this type of project.

The Pelton turbine has 4 nozzles with a maximum flow rate of 0.82 m3/s and runs a 2300 kVA, 6600 v generator. The penstock is made of GRP/cast iron with a diameter of 0.6 and length of 800m. It is partly buried.

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. The 65m2 power station is designed with glass walls, a stone foundation and a panel for providing an aesthetically good impression in addition to its practical and functional aspects.

Technical data

Rainfall field

5.9 km²

Minimum water flow

Summer: 60 l/s

Intake elevation

305 m

Power station elevation

10,0 m

Drop height

295 m


8,8 GWh
This corresponds to electricity 550 households.