Lucendro and Sella dam
The heart of this power plant is the Airolo power station. The two generators with a nominal capacity of 29 MW each are driven by two Pelton turbines. Annual production corresponds to the electricity consumption of the city of Chiasso. 220kV lines run from the Airolo switching station to Lavorgo via the Gotthard and the Nufenen. The Sella small power plant went into operation in 1991. With a capacity of 2 MW, it uses the 100 meter difference in altitude between the Sella and Lucendro reservoirs to produce 3 GWh a year.
The Lucendro storage power station was constructed between 1942 and 1945, i.e. towards the end of the Second World War. The choice of construction was dictated by the times.
Because cement and reinforcing iron were rationed, the architects selected a special type of construction for the dam. The Lucendro dam is a crown pillar or gravity dam, constr. Nötzli.
The crowns are 270 meters long and 69 meters high. The dam consists of pillar-type elements which are 13 meters thick on both external sides of the dam but only 3.5 meters in the centre. Between each pillar element is a hollow space up to 9.5 meters wide and up to 69 meters high.
Statistically, this type of construction offers the greatest possible security, saves on the cost of cement, and shortens the construction time. Because the dam was built during the Second World War, these factors were important criteria in selecting the type of construction.
Storage Power Plants
Airolo: 2 Pelton turbines / Sella: 1 Francis turbine
Airolo 2 x 29 MW / Sella 2 MW