New Saviore hydropower plant

The project

From 2001 to 2004, Frosio Next carried out all the design phases and followed the construction phase, dealing with the supervision of works, commissioning and start-up of the new hydropower plant in Saviore dell’Adamello, in Brescia province.

In particular, the following activities were carried out:

  • Preliminary, final and detailed design
  • Technical specifications
  • Assistance during tender
  • Work supervision and H&S coordination
  • Commissioning and performance tests

The plant

The hydropower plant uses the water derived by the intake work on Salarno river which consists of a small Tyroleyan type weir. A fishpass, designed according to the provisions of the Adamello Park, is constructed on the left side while, on the right side of the weir, there is a small sand storage and collection chamber from which a buried reinforced concrete pipeline departs and conveys the derived flows to the pond.

The pond, located about 35 m downstream from the intake structure, has an irregular shape to harmoniously adapt the morphology of the area and has been constructed in order to contain earth movements and to reduce the visual impact of the pond.

At the end of the pond, the entrance of the penstock is located, protected by a grid with automatic trashrack and intercepted by a butterfly valve and by a flat gate.

The penstock is made up of steel, has a diameter of 550 mm and a total length of 1,313 m. It is buried for 844 m (in the first section, in the Fabrezza area and in the final section, before the entrance of the powerhouse) while for the remaining 470 m it is supported on metal saddles and fixed at the vertices by anchor blocks.

The anchor blocks are “open” type, which means that in the vertices the penstock is not incorporated into the concrete, according to the most usual technology, but is uncovered and fixed to the ground by means of steel anchoring beams. This solution ensures the complete accessibility of the penstock for maintenance operations and it has the fundamental advantage of greatly reducing the visual impact of the anchor blocks which usually have considerable dimensions above ground.

To limit, as much as possible, excavations along steep (although rocky) slopes, the anchor blocks are equipped with rock tie-rods onto which the forces transmitted by the penstock are discharged; in this way the extent of the excavations and the consequent reinforced concrete works decreases to the minimum required value to ensure sufficient concrete coverage for the penstock anchor elements.

The powerhouse hosts a two-jets Pelton turbine.

Finally, the turbined flows are returned to Salarno river through a short tailrace channel.

Adopted solutions

Saviore hydropower plant is located in the Adamello Park.
Due to the valuable naturalistic context in which the works are located, innovative design solutions have been adopted which ensure to minimize their visual impact, with particular attention to the pond and the penstock.

The pond has been built in a rocky area, therefore, during the excavations in the construction phase, demolition hammers and microcharges were used. The rocky material extracted during the excavations has been reused for the internal lining of the pond itself.

Another constructive peculiarity concerns the powerhouse building. The access road to the plant is not accessible by construction vehicles and to cope with this problem, the concrete works were assembled on site transporting the material on site and setting up a small batching plant.


2001 – 2004


Saviore dell’Adamello (Brescia province), Italy


Azienda Elettrica Vallecamonica S.r.l.


Preliminary, final and detailed design, technical specifications, assistance during tender, work supervision and H&S coordination, commissioning and performance tests


New Saviore hydropower plant


1100 kW


279,80 m


0,50 m3/s


0,2 m3/s

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