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The “Quattro Acque” Park

Italo Rota

The “Quattro Acque” Park
By Francesco Pagliari -

The project to build a hydropower plant at Campolattaro in the southern Italian province of Benevento is designed to deliver 600 MW and be a strategic boost to electricity supplies over the grid serving a vast area of the Mezzogiorno where voltage dips are a frequent phenomenon, the downside of electricity supplied from wind farms, an important source of power in this area. The new power plant is to exploit the existing Campolattaro dam and the natural basin situated further up stream. These two reservoirs are to be linked by underground pipes that will ensure the drop necessary to turn turbines and create electricity. The underground hydroelectric generating plant will have “reversible” pumps that actuate the turbine and release power onto the grid at peak usage times or when required, or alternatively, when electricity is not demanded, will pump the water back into the top reservoir, reconstituting it ready for use once more. This “closed circuit” water system goes a long way to limiting water dispersion and losses. In fact the conservative use of the precious natural resource that is water is emblematic of the environmental focus of the whole programme. On a wider scale, the project has triggered several environment-friendly recreational projects coming under the general heading of the Quattro Acque Park that will involve local authorities, the province of Benevento and 15 municipalities in the Sannio area. 

Swiss power generation group, Repower, has owned electricity-generation assets in Italy since 2002. Its strong focus on renewables has now led it to entrust Italo Rota’s architect practice with the overarching project encompassing a series of sub-projects, all of which targeted to inventing new ways of getting to know and using the natural area through a range of activities aimed at raising environmental awareness while providing recreational facilities for a wide range of users. Visitors and locals will be able to...

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