Das Kraftwerk Gersthofen ©Martin Augsburger/Stadt Augsburg

Power plant Gersthofen

The first large power plant at the northern Lech canal initiated service in October of 1901. This marked the beginning of the comprehensive supply of electricity in the whole of Bavarian Swabia. The Lech canal was built especially for this plant.

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