Lipno I Waterworks
This is the first, and located at the highest altitude, step of the so-called Vltava cascade. The damming of the Upper Vltava at an altitude of 726 metres above sea level near the village of Lipno created the largest artificial reservoir and simultaneously the largest water surface area in the entire Czech Republic. The water surface area of the Lipno Dam reservoir, Lipno for short, which reaches deep into Šumava, amounts to approximately 4,870 ha. Its length, to the maximum extent of its backwater, is 48 km. The volume of retained water is approximately 309.5 million m³, and the circumference of its shore is approximately 150 km.
The dam, built during the years 1952 to 1957, is 296 metres long, 25 metres high, and 130 metres wide at its base and 10 metres at its crown. The body of the dam consists of 2/3 rockfill, concrete on the left bank, is gravitational with two blocks in operation. The concrete section has two overflow spans and two basic spillways.
An interesting feature and something that is literally unique is the underground hydroelectric power station (a so-called Swedish type), which is located at a depth of 200 metres in an artificial cavern having the dimensions of 60 x 22 x 39 metres. The power station is equipped with two Francis turbines, into which water is fed via two vertical 160 metre high shafts with a diameter of 4.5 metres. From the turbines the water drains through a 3.5 km long underground tunnel into the Lipno II equalising reservoir at the town of Vyšší Brod. The Lipno I power station functions as a peak station, i.e. it generates and supplies electricity to the mains solely during peak demands for electricity. The output of each turbine is 60 MW (at a maximum flow rate of 46 m³).
Although the Lipno Waterworks was primarily built with the objective of creating a reservoir of water for power engineering and industry, ensuring a minimum water flow of 6 m³ down the original riverbed, and for the purpose of regulating flood waters, soon after it was completed it became a lake and its surroundings became the sought-after destination of fishermen, water sports enthusiasts and tourists.
Information Centre of the Lipno Power Station
The Information Centre of the Lipno Hydro Power Station can be visited for the biggest part of the year based on a prior arrangement (in writing or by phone). During the summer tourist season from 15 June to 15 September the IC is open daily from 10:00 to 16:00 hours. Films are run for groups of 40 persons every hour on the hour, employees of the Power Station offer expert presentations, and information boards describing the construction of the Power Station and the area around it are available to visitors.
Entrance fee: Adults: CZK 20, Children and pensioners: CZK 10
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