Fossil fuels continue to play a dominant role in global energy systems. Fossil energy was a fundamental driver of the Industrial Revolution, and of the technological, social and economic development which has followed. However, fossil fuels also have negative impacts, being the dominant source of local air pollution and emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. The growing awareness of climate change challenges associated with fossil fuels has triggered countries around the globe to find alternative energy resources.
In 2015, Helgelands Kraft A/S, one of the largest producers of hydraulicpower in northern Norway, decided to build a series of new power plants, which would bring attention to hydropower, to the history around it and to environmental benefits. The idea was to turn five power plants into tourist destinations and fit them into the spectacular Norwegian landscape.
In the design for Øvre Forsland Hydropower Plant, the team was inspired by the vertical and irregular shapes in the surrounding spruce forest, and through the big windows the interior of the power plant is on display. From the bridge in front of the building, visitors can experience the strong natural forces of the water flowing through the station and they can get a close look at the streaming water. The blue, green and red light design of the interior technical parts, strengthens the experience of the powerplant, also during the dark Norwegian winter. The power plant produces 30GWh which provides 1,600 households with power.