Kranzberg hydroelectric power station

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Kranzberg hydroelectric power station
am Amperkanal gelegen

located at the Amperkanal

Wasserkraftwerk Kranzberg (Bayern)
Wasserkraftwerk Kranzberg

Coordinates 48° 24′ 56″ N, 11° 35′ 49″ OCoordinates 48° 24′ 56″ N, 11° 35′ 49″O
Country Germany, Bavaria
Location Kranzberg
Waters Amperkanal (Amper)
Power Plant
Owner Kranzberg hydroelectric power station e.K.
Operator Kranzberg hydroelectric power station e.K.
Construction time 1906–1911
Start of operation 1911
Listed since 2009
Drop height
8,70 m
Expansion flow 40 m³/s
Turbines 2 Francis turbines
Generators 2 three-phase generators

The Kranzberg hydropower plant is a run-of-river power plant on the Amper River. The power plant, which was opened in 1911, is located on the northern boundary of Kranzberg in the Upper Bavarian district of Freising. The electrical output of the power plant is 2.4 MW. The owner and operator of the power plant since 1999 is Markus Engelsberger. The power plant has been a listed building since 2009.


In operation for over 100 years

In 1906, Süddeutsche Wasserkraft GmbH – the company was merged into Amperwerke AG on July 2, 1908 – applied for permission to build a hydroelectric power plant on the Amper near Allershausen. Due to the opposition of the residents in Allershausen, the power plant was built on the northern boundary of the Kranzberg district. It was built from May 1906 to October 1910, and the associated Amper canal had already been constructed before then. The construction of the power station cost exactly 2,498,774.94 Reichsmark. In the beginning, a gradient of 6.70 metres was used in the power station so that the falling water could drive the two turbines and the generators. This made it possible to generate around eleven million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

This prestigious project at the time – it was one of the five largest three-phase power plants in Bavaria – also attracted royal VIPs, including Prince Ludwig, later King Ludwig III, who was present at the inauguration on 11 March 1911.

Together with the Weng and Haag hydroelectric power plants, the plant supplied the entire Amper valley with electricity, as well as the town of Freising and, via a spur line, the former Schlüter tractor factory. It was not until the 1960s that the power plant increasingly lost its importance: the sharp increase in electricity consumption was covered by coal-fired and nuclear power plants. The share of hydroelectric power in Bavaria had fallen to 20 percent by then. The transformer station, a small technical and operational building, was even demolished in 1979. In the course of the liberalisation of the electricity market, the Amperwerke sold the power station at the end of 1999. Markus Engelsberger, whose great-grandfather Matthias Engelsberger had built the first electricity supply in Siegsdorf (Traunstein district) before 1890, bought it. As the operator of the power plant, he thus continued a family tradition. Everything now had to be overhauled and renovated. Not only were the generators overhauled, but a completely new control room and new control technology had to be installed. This increased the plant’s output by 30 percent. The inside of the power plant looks like a museum: Light-colored Jurassic limestone and pictures from days gone by adorn the walls.[1]

Protected monument

The Bavarian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments placed the hydroelectric power plant under protection as an industrial monument in 2009. In the list of monuments of Kranzberg it is listed with the file number D-1-78-137-35 and described as follows:

Built as Plant II of the Amperwerke (later Isar-Amper-Werke AG) in 1906-1910 according to plans by architect Rudolf Menckhoff, Berlin.

  • Company building with control room and company flat, three-storey hipped roof building with two-storey flat roof porch,
  • Transversely connected engine house above the works canal, lit by high rectangular windows, hall building in reinforced concrete construction with mezzanine and hipped roof; with fittings.


Rinsing off the floating material

Today, a gradient of 8.70 meters is used. The 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity generated correspond to the consumption of about 5,000 households and cover about 2 % of the electricity demand of the Freising district. In full operation, around 40 cubic meters of water per second flow through the turbines. Three employees ensure that the machines, which have an output of around 2400 kilowatts, run smoothly. A sign next to the entrance door reads: “8,000 tons of hard coal, 10,000 tons of brown coal and 5,000 tons of heavy heating oil have been saved, and 20,000 tons less carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere” since the hydroelectric power plant was commissioned 100 years ago.


  • Toni Schmidberger: The first alternating current power station in Germany. Bad Reichenhall 1984.

Web links

Commons: Kranzberg hydroelectric power station– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. 100 years of the Kranzberg hydropower plant


  • Electricity consumption district of Freising [1]