Jaruga Hydroelectric Power Plant
The Jaruga is one of the oldest power-generating facilities in the world. Its present location dates back to 1903, when it was moved from the nearby original Jaruga power station built in 1895.
The oldest Jaruga power plant was the first alternating current (AC) power system in Croatia, the first commercial hydro power plant in Europe, and second in the world. It was set in operation on 28 August 1895 at 20:00, three days after the Adams Power Plant on the Niagara Falls. It was designed to power the street lights in Šibenik, making it the third city in the world with street lights powered by a polyphase system of alternating current (AC).
In 1893, the mayor of Šibenik Ante Šupuk and one Vjekoslav Meichser started a business and obtained a license to use the waters of river Krka, and in 1894 they obtained permission to set up electrical power lines on municipal property in order to start lighting the streets with electric power. The construction of Jaruga started in 1894 and lasted for 16 months.
The two generators (42 Hz, 550 kW each) and the transformers were produced and installed by the Hungarian company Ganz. The transmission line from the power plant to the city of Šibenik was 11 km (6.8 mi) long on wooden towers, and the municipal distribution grid 3000V/110 V included six transformer stations. The original Jaruga system supplied 340 street lights and some electrified houses in Šibenik.
Three years after the first Jaruga was built, the construction of the second Jaruga hydro power plant began, the current location. It was completed in 1903 when its capacity was 6 MW.
Since its construction, the current Jaruga has been refurbished in 1916, 1937, 1970, 1995 and 2008, but the basic concept of the plant had been maintained. In 1936 a second generator was installed that increased the capacity to 5,6 MW.
Catchment and capacity
The Krka River rises under the travertine barrier of the Topolje waterfall near the town of Knin. Total length of the Krka River, from its spring to its end in the Adriatic sea near Skradin is 56 km. Total Krka catchment area is 2427 km2, of which 142 km2 is included in the Krka National park.
Along its course, the Krka receives a number of important tributaries. Some major among them are Krčić, Kosovčica, Orašnica, Butišnica, Miljacka, Čikola, Goduča and Rivina Jaruga. The Jaruga power plant is the last one of five hydro power plants in the Krka catchment, from its spring to the sea. It uses the gross head of about 26 m, which is a portion of the naturally concentrated head of about 45 m at the Skradinski buk waterfall. Visovačko jezero (lake) is upstream the waterfall and the Krka and Prokljansko jezero (lake), affected by the sea backwaters, downstream.
This is a typical run-off-the-river plant of diversion type, with no possibility of water regulation. Total installed capacity is 5.4 MW and average annual output 35 GWh. It is a minor power plant concerning both capacity and annual output. Also the most important use is to power or give energy to the park.
The Krka River catchment hydroelectric power plants
- Golubić Hydroelectric Power Plant
- Small Krčić Hydroelectric Power Plant
- Miljacka Hydroelectric Power Plant
- Roški Slap Hydroelectric Power Plant
- Jaruga Hydroelectric Power Plant
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Marko Delimar, Josip Moser, Aleksandar Szabo (August 2007). "First AC Power Systems in Croatia". Croatian Scientific Bibliography - Bibliographic record number: 342396.
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