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Gösgen hydropower plant

The Gösgen power plant was built during the First World War between 1913 and 1917. The concept of the plant has been influenced by the pioneering spirit of the time. At that time, Gösgen was the most powerful plant in Switzerland. The major work on the river landscape between Winznau and Niedergösgen and the dimensioning of the plant paved the way in Switzerland for the use of hydropower and for the construction of run-of-river power plants. In the 1990s, Atel, as the operator, decided to make better use of the gradient and completely rebuilt the power plant. Four machine groups with Kaplan turbines and the SBB machine for the production of traction current have been running in the factory since the end of the year 2000. After the rebuild, electricity production rose by around 12% under the same conditions of use.

The old power plant from 1917 was considered a remarkable testament to the industrial architecture of that time. It combined various contemporary trends in European architecture. The machine room in particular demonstrated elements of Classicism. The old command building is characterised by elements from the tail end of the Art Nouveau and Heimat eras. The roof truss of the machine room was unique; it was based on the traditional wooden models. However, the girders and rafters were made of concrete.
During the renovation between 1996 and 2000, the original character of the building had to be preserved and remain visible. Work on the historical structure was carefully carried out and as a result, the power plant retained the external character of the plant from 1917.

TypeCanal power plant
Commissionedin 1917/2000
Water discharge rate380 m3/s
Usable drop height13.1 – 17.4 m
Capacity51.3 MW
Machines5 Kaplan turbines
Annual production300 million kWh