The Vydra Hydroelectric Power Plant

The importance of the nearby Vchynice-Tetov Navigation Canal was declining after the logging industry was reduced, so other uses were sought. In 1937, the construction of a new hydroelectric power plant called Vydra began and was put into operation two years later. The author of the design was Ing. Karel Kosek, who had already prepared a technical solution for a pumped storage power plant under Černé jezero in the 1920s.

The whole complex actually starts on the navigation canal at Mechov (Mosau), where the intake structure is preserved. From there, water is channelled through an underground conduit (partly in pressure pipes, greater part in a bricked gallery) for a total length of 3.2 kilometres to a storage reservoir near the settlement of Sedlo. The reservoir was built so that the water could be stored here during times of low load on the power grid and then used for power generationduring peak hours. The water is piped from the reservoir to a nearby reinforced concrete tower called the “Water Castle”.

In the event of a turbine failure, the water supply can be shut off remotely from the power plant. The water is then piped underground to the power plant on the banks of the Vydra River. The total gradient is 240 metres and the power plant capacity is 6.4 MW. This and much more can be found in the permanent exhibition, which is open to the general public all year round.