The power producer Dravske elektrarne Maribor today hosted, on World Water Day, a short cultural event marking the launch of a commemorative postage stamp in collaboration with the national postal company Pošta Slovenija, the Slovenian Philatelic Association and the Maribor Philatelic Society. It was the first in a series of events which will be organised by Dravske elektrarne Maribor this year, when the Fala Hydro Power Plant, the oldest large and still functioning hydro power plant in Slovenia, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

“We are happy that Pošta Slovenije has recognised the meaning of the centenary of the hydro power plant and decided to make it a part of philately history by issuing the commemorative postage stamp. We can say without false modesty that there is no facility in the Slovenian energy infrastructure that could compare to the Fala Hydro Power Plant; just as it was one hundred years ago, when it started operating and producing the first kilowatt hours of electricity to enable the electrification and industrial development of the local area, today overhauled, regularly maintained and remote-operated, it represents an important link in the chain of eight power plants on the Drava River. Dravske elektrarne Maribor is an indispensable member of the HSE Group when it comes to providing safe and reliable supply of electricity in Slovenia from renewable sources”, said Andrej Tumpej, the director of Dravske elektrarne Maribor.

What should not be overlooked is the fact that the HSE Group produces more than two-thirds of the entire electricity from renewable sources in Slovenia. What also confirms the importance of Dravske elektrarne Maribor is its 32% share in electricity production in the HSE Group. The know-how and years of experience that are concentrated in Dravske elektrarne Maribor have enabled us to, one hundred years after the construction of the Fala Hydro Power Plant, celebrate such a major anniversary on the still operational  power plant,” said Matjaž Marovt, the director general of HSE. He stressed that renewable sources remained one of the main priorities of the largest Slovenian energy group: “In new construction we are primarily directed towards the use of the water power potential in Slovenia which could still be used for energy purposes.  The HSE Group is aware that water is the natural resource with which it is the easiest for Slovenia to increase its share of renewable sources in total production of electricity.”

The event took place in the premises of the old command room (stara stikalnica). Together with other premises, it is today the museum part of the power plant, which was declared a cultural monument of national importance by government decree in 2008. The preserved and refurbished part of the power plant is visited annually by four thousand people, and Dravske elektrarne Maribor, which runs the museum, believes that interest in visiting will increase further in the future. In May, the museum will put on display the first five of the planned fifteen exhibits which enable visitors to see and test in an interesting and educational way various methods to generate electricity. By displaying the exhibits which will enable visitors to test how various forms of energy are transformed into electricity, the company is following the current trends in museum activities and enriching the museum’s content with an interactive approach.

The respect of cultural and historical guidelinespromoted by the Cultural Heritage Protection Institute, and the following of contemporary exhibition methods has led to the establishment of the Council of the Fala Hydro Power Plant Museum, whose members – representatives of Dravske elektrarne Maribor, the local community, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Maribor and the Cultural Heritage Protection Institute – met for the first time on 19 March 2018 to draft a future programme of work and development of the Fala Hydro Power Plant Museum.