Vallemaggia: hydro-electric plants

A powerful series of installations

Ticino possesses three natural gifts in copious quantities: sunshine, stone and water. Ofima exploits the water across the region. Lighting, telephone networks, computers, televisions, drinking water, heating, banks, offices, factories, hospitals, petrol stations and more: without electricity nothing works at all! Every year Ofima produces 1300 GWh of clean, renewable hydro-electric energy, equivalent to the needs of 250,000 domestic households.

The Ofima installations comprise 35 collector sites, 140 km of tunnels and pipes, 8 man-made reservoirs and 6 power stations. Annually, 800 million cubic metres of water passes through the turbines. The installations extend, for the most part underground, for more than 60 km between upper Valais and Brissago, where the water flows into Lake Maggiore. They are controlled electronically 24/7 by the control centre at Locarno.

The Cavagnoli-Naret reservoirs feed the Robiei power station. The water from the turbines then flows into the Robiei and Zött reservoirs, as does water from the upper Valais, the Bedretto valley and Basodino, to feed the Bavona power station. The Sambuco reservoir in the Lavizzara valley feeds the Peccia power station. The water then flows out into the reservoir of the same name (which also collects the water from the turbines of the Bavona power station) to feed the Cavergno power station. Through a 24 km long tunnel the water then arrives at the Palagnedra reservoir, which feeds the Verbano power station, before finally flowing into Lake Maggiore.