Connecting Perls – Western Balkans, Serbia, North Macedonia

CONNECTING PERLS

One of the oldest hydroelectric power plants in the Balkans is located in the very centre of the Vučjanka river canyon. Built in 1903, it is the second oldest hydroelectric power plant in Serbia, and it is still in operation today. 

The Vučje hydroelectric plant belongs to the derivation type of power plant with water intake, water chamber, derivation channel and a pipeline. 

The construction of the hydroelectric power plant began in 1902-1903 with the construction of the canal, which brings water above the power plant.

The oldest transmission line in Serbia with a length of 17 kilometres used to connect the hydroelectric power plant and the city of Leskovac, with which the owners of the power plant had a contract about lightning.

Professor Đorđe Stanojević, the progenitor of electrification in the Kingdom of Serbia, a friend of Nikola Tesla and a supporter of his inventions, chose the canyon of the Vučjanka River to build an “electricity factory”.

Vučje Hydroelectric Power Plant was built with the money from 168 shareholders of the “Leskovac Electric Company”, and it was opened on the Day of the Liberation of Leskovac

 from the Turkish occupation, which enabled Vučje, a small town in the south of Serbia, and Leskovac to have electricity.

The equipment included the first transmission line in the Kingdom of Serbia provided by the German company “Siemens-Halske.’’

The hydroelectric powerplant takes water from the Vučjanka River through a canal which is about a kilometre long and partially carved into the high inaccessible rocks.

Today, the Vučje hydroelectric power plant is in the system of Electrical Power Supply of Serbia and produces about four million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. 

In 2005, the Vučje hydroelectric power plant was included in the world technical heritage, which includes only about sixty objects.