Das Kraftwerk Gersthofen ©Martin Augsburger/Stadt Augsburg

Power plant Gersthofen

The first of three hydroelectric power stations on the newly constructed Lech canal – a palatial building with baroque forms – went into operation in 1901. It was no longer just connected to a factory but marked the beginning of comprehensive electricity supply in Bavarian Swabia.

Building history and description
  • Hydroelectric power plant, still in operation today
  • City of Gersthofen, Landkreis Augsburg; Adolf-von-Baeyer-Straße
  • Granting of the concession in 1896
  • Start of sewer excavation 1898
  • Commissioning 1901
  • Completion of the hydropower plant around a steam power plant 1904
  • Overbuilding of the lock 1907
  • Modernization of the system technology 1961
  • single-storey, elongated solid building in the style of historicism
  • Facade in exposed brickwork with pilasters and white decorative elements
  • Round arched windows with steel rungs
  • eastern part of the building ends with a flat roof
  • western part of the building two-storey with curved hipped roof
  • Building over the lock of 1907 is similar to the western part of the building
  • self-supporting machine hall with 10.5m height and 13m width with filigree riveted steel truss girders and crane runway in 8m height
Maschinenraum im Kraftwerk in Gersthofen ©Martin Augsburger/Stadt Augsburg
Machine room
Kraftwerk in Gersthofen ©Martin Augsburger/Stadt Augsburg
Rechen an den Einlaufkanälen/Kraftwerk in Gersthofen ©Martin Augsburger/Stadt Augsburg
Rakes at the running-in
Kraftwerk in Gersthofen ©Martin Augsburger/Stadt Augsburg
Kraftwerk in Gersthofen ©Martin Augsburger/Stadt Augsburg
Use and purpose
  • Hydropower plant for power generation (first for company, then for region)
  • initially designed five turbines only 16 cubic meters per second
  • after the construction of the Meitingen power plant replacement of the old plants with new Kaplan tube turbines and AEG generators
  • technical Equipment:
    • five 1963 AEG Generators
    • five turbines of unknown design
  • Power station on the Lech Canal built in three sections from 1898-1922
  • Foundation of the Lechwerke 1903
  • Power plant as an object of the UNESCO nomination stands for:
    • Further development from small-scale to industrial scale
    • Further development from a simple waterwheel to a highly effective turbine
    • early replacement of mechanical transfers of hydroelectric power in the region by electrification
    • Early replacement of local hydropower and electricity generation by decentralized run-of-river power plants
    • Use of renewable energies benefits the environment,
    • "Augsburg tradition" of sustainability as a global role model
Authenticity and unique features
  • Power station building mostly in original condition
  • Kaplan tube turbines and AEG generators still in operation today
  • First large hydropower plant on the Lech and in Bavaria
  • Start of the nationwide power supply in Bavarian Swabia
  • Providing technical development to a well-preserved, exemplary hydroelectric power plant