The energy carried by water has been used by people for centuries. In the Middle Ages it supplied millstones, hammers of forges and fulling mills, and sawmills. The invention of an electric turbine in the 19th century made it possible to convert the energy of water directly into electric current. Pomerania was in this aspect a pioneer in Europe. Until the 1930s, several dozen very modern (at that time) power plants were built here. Many of the facilities erected nearly 100 years ago are still in work today, and some of them have the original equipment in use.
Most of the facilities are managed by Energa Wytwarzanie S.A. Some of them are free to visit. The following power plants: Rutki, Łapino, Bielkowo and Straszyn on Radunia and Struga and Gałąźnia Mała on Słupia. Visiting is possible after notifying the operator in advance. Information on the application procedure and the rules of visiting is available on the following website:
Canoeist should remember that hydro power stations are industrial plants and access to them is limited. It is not allowed to flow in or enter the area without the permission of the manager, so it is necessary to get round the hydro-technical facilities using designated portages.
You are also forbidden to enter canals that supply water to turbines, the so-called diversion canals, before which you should finish your trip. In some cases (especially on the Słupia, Łupawa and Radunia), longer stretches of rivers are excluded, so it will be necessary to use canoe carriage in such places.