The village of Oftedal had its own power plant in Heieåne earlier, from 1944 to 1972. From the 1950s, the landowners became aware that they had a resource that could be developed further. Many partners and alternatives were considered before more serious negotiations took place in 2003. This was resolved in November 2003 through a contract with Småkraft, which assumed the risk, the work with the licensing process and the development itself. Excavators arrived in September 2005, and in December 2006, the first power plant was ready to deliver its contribution in the form of new, renewable energy and local business revenues. Another power plant further down followed suit after a few months.
In connection with power plant development, the village and inhabitants of Oftedal have been given new incentive.
The implementation of the construction project was a learning experience, especially the work on the lower power plant, which presented some significant challenges. Working on the steep slope down towards the regulated Sirdalsvannet lake was anything but easy, and the soil on the mountain was so loose it had to be secured with ten 22-metre-long “concrete girders” that had to be drilled, reinforced and cast from a raft on Sirdalsvannet lake. A subsea cable across Sirdalsvannet, as well as about 2 km of new power cables were needed to deliver the power. Norway’s largest mobile crane was also required to lift the 25-tonne generator onto its foundation in Reddalen.