Sølia power plant

The Sølia power plant is located on the Storelva river in Vassdalen in Fjaler municipality. Judging by the name (Vassdalen = “water valley”), it should be well suited for a run-of-river power plant. The waterfall rights are owned by four farms. The landowners were aware that the river could have a good potential for small-scale hydropower. Realisation of the value creation from the river was determined at an early stage. In 2008, the landowners chose to develop the project through a partnership with Småkraft.

The project

Implementation of the project has had its challenges along the way, including several floods during the construction period.

On the positive side, local contractors and other suppliers have made valuable contributions to the progress of the project development. Their contributions, in additon to an operational project team and local construction management, ensured the completion of the project by the deadline.

Collaboration with landowners has been good. Their contributions in the form of local knowledge, and their presence throughout all of the phases has enabled a smooth project implementation.

Sølia power plant has inflow from a catchment area of 223.8 km2. Minimum water flow is 140 l/s – all year. Intake is at elevation 229.5 and the power plant is at elevation 166, which gives a fall height of 63.5 metres. Power production is an estimated 6.35 GWh in a normal year. This corresponds with electricity consumption for 318 households.

The Francis turbine has a maximum flow rate of 3.83 l/s and runs a 2200 kVA, 6.6 kV generator. All power is converted to 22 kV and delivered to the grid.

The intake is built as a concrete threshold with a spillway. The intake construction itself is a conventional concrete intake, which is well adapted to the terrain on site and appears to be a modest intervention.

The penstock is made of GRP and ductile cast iron, and it is buried from the intake to the station. It has a length of 660 metres and a diameter of 1200 mm.

The 80 m2 power plant building was constructed in the familiar Småkraft style, built on the ground and well-integrated in the terrain. Outflow is led through pipes out to the Storelva river just below the road to Brattelia.

Technical data

Rainfall field

23.8 km²

Minimum water flow

Summer: 140 l/s

Intake elevation

230 m

Power station elevation

167,0 m

Drop height

62 m

Production

6,3 GWh
This corresponds to electricity 394 households.