Alta power plant

Norway / Hydropower / Power plant

Alta power plant is located in Sautso in Alta Municipality in Troms and Finnmark County.

  • 1987
    Entered into operation
  • 150 MW
    Installed capacity
  • 694.7 GWh
    Annual production

The power plant is situated 40 kilometres from the mouth of the Alta River, which has a large part of the Finnmarksvidda plateau as its catchment area. The lower 40 km of the river is used by salmon to migrate. The power plant makes use of a height of fall of 185 metres from the 18 kilometre-long Lake Virdnejávri reservoir. Most of the reservoir is located in Kautokeino Municipality.

From the 110-metre-high concrete arch dam, Norway's highest, to the outlet of the power plant, the river is dry for a stretch of two kilometres. To ensure that the temperature of the operating water through the power plant best matches that of the water in the river below the plant, two intakes have been established at different depths. Water from the power plant is discharged back to the river through an outlet tunnel. Alta power plant has two generating units with Francis turbines.

The power plant is one of the most controversial hydropower developments in Norwegian history. The protests partly arose from concerns about reindeer herding in the area and salmon migration in the Alta River. Read more about the Alta development from 1980 to 1987 here.

Alta power plant is a visitor centre. You can visit the Alta dam in Sautso and take a guided tour. Local tour operators organise tours throughout the year. There are no tours inside the power plant.


Company Ownership share
Statkraft 100%



  • Alta power plant
    Jan Inge Karlsen

    The Alta dam is Norway's highest concrete arch dam.

  • Alta power plant machine room
    Jan Inge Karlsen

    Alta power plant machine room with two generator tops

  • Alta power plant reception building
    Jan Inge Karlsen

    Alta power plant reception building

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