Here the Walser - the Vallese population of German origins - once traversed the high mountains and passes and descended into the Valsesia Valley to farm this harsh alpine region. Woodcutters and cattle farmers from the Rhône Valley even settled remote, virtually inaccessible alpine meadows, founding villages such as Rimella and Alagna. The culture and language of the Walser who migrated here 700 years ago still characterise Valsesia to this day.
But the valley owes its name to the River Sesia, which flows through the alpine landscape before joining the River Po. Starting out as a glacial torrent, the clear waters of the Sesia are revered by anglers around the world as the cardle of fly fishing. In the winter resort of Alagna, not far from the source, Alpiq is also harnessing the natural power of these waters.
The Gestimi small hydroelectric power station, with a capacity of 4 MW, produces 15 GWh of electricity a year, blending seamlessly into the landscape thanks to its typical regional architecture. Further down the valley, in Riva Valdobbia, the new Idrovalsesia small hydroelecric power station generates around 13 GWh of electricity. Here, too, Alpiq is committed to sustainable management of the expensive commodity of water. In so doing the company is helping to protect the climate and ensure the economically viable use of renewable energies.