Exploration #27 Officine Netti. The Officine Netti was Orvieto’s first hydroelectric power station. Built in 1893 by engineer Aldobrando Netti, it was a work that quickly changed the territory. Initially it was equipped with a Pelton turbine with a power of only 47kW, a negligible power today, but at the time capable of giving rise to new small craft activities equipped with modern machinery; in April 1896 the first building in the town, Orvieto’s Mancinelli Theatre, was equipped with electric lighting, followed by the town’s public lighting and public utility buildings.

Today, two Pelton turbines, with their alternators and flywheels, made by Ing. Riva of Milan, are still clearly visible. One of the two turbines has its case open, like a treasure chest, revealing the nozzle and runner with all its beautiful buckets. A third well-preserved turbine was also discovered by Orvieto’s Cai Speleological Group a few metres below the building and is now only accessible by a tortuous passage through tunnels full of mud and debris. The machinery, now in ruins, is now one with the lush vegetation that decorates them with green moss and makes them part of it.

The Officine Netti power station remained in operation for several years, becoming a symbol and technological pride of the area. After the war, following the construction of more modern and productive plants, it was decommissioned and forgotten in the woods. Over the years, numerous projects have been presented to restore and enhance it as industrial archaeology but unfortunately it is still in a state of abandonment.

If you liked this exploration you can have a look at these power plants: Powerplant Pietrafitta, Peppermint power plant.