16th Panel

THE CONTROL UNIT

In Bienno is still preserved the first control unit used for the electric energy supply in the village.
It was carried out at the end of the thirties of the twentieth century by the Tassara Society of Breno, which had made a big Hydroelectric Power Plant that is still operative, at Isola (Island) resort in the upper part of the Grigna, but already in the territory of Bienno.
The energy supply involved a large part of the country, but we should not forget that until the installation of this control unit in the village, there was no electricity and there were used the “lmm”, in other words the lamp consisting of a vassel with a neck for the wick containing walnut oil or fat, that burning slowly consented to illuminate.
In the sixties, the control unit was closed, because the energy was supplied by Enel (National Electricity Board) in all the houses of the village. Going along the small staircase climbing the right side of the “Control Unit”, you can see the great leap, of more than eleven metres, that the Vaso R (the R Duct) makes to take the water to the Mill Museum and to continue its course in the masonry pipe on the ground. From this point you can see the whole Vaso R (R Duct) made up of masonry and the narrow pipe of derivation, completely wooden, that takes the water to the big wheel of the mill. It is spectacular the large waterfall visible from Via Re (Re’s Street), which also shows the system of sluice-gates with the flywheel.