Enel inaugurates National Museum of Geothermal Energy in Italy
Enel Green Power inaugurates National Museum of Geothermal Energy coninciding with 100 years of commercial geothermal power generation at Larderello in Tuscany, Italy.
A museum that tells a fascinating history but also illustrates a present full of energy and culture, leading into a future of increasingly renewable resources. This, in short, is the new Museum of Geothermal Energy in Larderello, which was inaugurated last week in Italy. Attending the event were the Environment and Energy Councilor of the Tuscany Region, Anna Rita Bramerini, Enel Green Power CEO, Francesco Starace, the President of the Province of Pisa, Andrea Pieroni, the mayors of the municipalities with geothermal facilities and numerous other officials, including the Prefect of Pisa, Francesco Tagliente.
The Museum of Geothermal Energy is located in the Enel Green Power Village of Larderello, the world capital of geothermal energy: it is a fully renovated, high-tech and multimedia structure, open to school groups and researchers, as well as to all visitors interested in learning about geothermal energy in its numerous dimensions, from history to the activity in the chemical industry, from the power industry to the uses of heat. A treasure buried in the ground in the provinces of Pisa, Siena and Grosseto, constituting a renewable resource capable of generating enough electricity to meet 26.5% of Tuscany’s energy requirements.
Entrance to the museum is free. It is open seven days a week from March 16th to October 31st (hours: 9:00 am to 6:30 pm), and from Tuesday to Sunday the rest of the year (hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm): visitors can choose from a paid guided tour or opt for a free tour led by a ProScenium system, taking the visitor along a journey of discovery of geothermal energy with a recorded narrative and a beam of light drawing their attention to the exhibit being described.
In the first hall, visitors are welcomed to the museum with an illustration of all the types of renewable sources and the activities of Enel Green Power in Italy and throughout the world. After this introduction, the second hall offers visitors the chance to dive into history with the first historical signs of geothermal use – the Etruscan and Roman baths and a copy of the Tabula Peutingeriana dating back to 70 A.D., which shows the thermal waters of Volterra and Populonia, recently brought to light by the Superintendent of Cultural Heritage in Florence at the archaeological site of the Etruscan and Roman baths of Sasso Pisano, in the municipality of Castelnuovo Val di Cecina. The next hall draws the visitor into the heart of the history of geothermal resources with the discovery in 1777 of boric acid in Cerchiaio Lake in Monterotondo Marittimo by Hubert Franz Hoefer of Cologne on the Rhine, who served as the “Provisioner of the royal pharmacies” of Tuscany. Next is an exhibit on the early works in the field of chemistry by Count François de Larderel and the lighting of the first five light bulbs in 1904 thanks to the intuition of the Prince Ginori Conti. A special section is dedicated to drilling, of which there is a description in the 1841 treatise of the Accademia dei Georgofili, which dates the first drilling activities to 1838. A spectacular 3-D Journey to the Center of the Earth takes the visitor into a virtual descent into the belly of the planet, where energy takes form and the source of geothermal energy is found. Finally, the halls dedicated to the history of the geothermal power industry through the present with Enel Green Power, which has 33 power stations, for a total of 35 generators, producing more than 5 billion KWh of renewable power each year.
The inauguration of the new Museum of Geothermal Energy, with a special outdoor area with tourist facilities and a welcoming space to enjoy, coincides with the centenary of the opening of the first geothermal power plant in September 1913. In the garden in front of the historic museum building are busts of François De Larderel and his wife Pauline, whose genius ushered in the adventure into geothermal power, making Larderello one of the standards for the world of energy and science, so much so that Nobel Prize winners Madame Curie in 1918 and Enrico Fermi in 1956 both posed for photographs on the steps to the entrance of the building. The importance of the plant is further attested by the display in the hall just before the exit to the museum, which contains commemorative plaques of all those notable persons who have visited the geothermal site over the years. The museum is the centerpiece of tourism that revolves around the world of geothermal energy, and which each year attracts more than 50,000 visitors thanks to the Etruscan and Roman baths of Sasso Pisano, natural phenomena, the geothermal activity of La Biancane nature park in Monterotondo Marittimo, the Renewable Energy Food Community and the commitment of COSVIG (Geothermal Areas Development Consortium) to enhancing the gastronomic, cultural and artistic activities related to the geothermal activity.”
Source: Press Release Enel Green Power via 4-Traders