The Acquoria hydro power plant in Tivoli, Italy, has become an interactive and multimedia experience highlighting renewable energy, Enel Green Power has announced.

Designed by agency Dotdotdot, the power plant’s interactive exhibition is a multimedia experience to discover the five sources of clean and renewable energy: hydro, geothermal, wind, marine, and solar. The objective is to provide an innovative approach to describe how renewable energy is created and to highlight the excellence of the region.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Mauro Alessandri, Lazio Region Infrastructure Councilor, Giuseppe Proietti, Mayor of Tivoli, Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, and Michele Bologna, Head of Communications Enel Green Power earlier this month.

"With the Interactive Plants initiative we want to introduce the world of renewable energy, especially to the new generations, using simple and accessible language that explains the fundamental role they play in the energy transition process,” explained Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “The exhibition uses new media technologies to tell the story of the world of energy, emphasizing how innovation and sustainability are core elements of Enel's industrial development model and key ingredients to strengthen our global leadership.”

"The installation for the Interactive Plants posed the great challenge of communicating intangible content, such as energy, making it tangible and experiential, and of conveying, through Interaction Design, complex topics, such as energy production or its relationship with the geography of the world. Our experience has enabled us to implement a considerable amount of technological and exhibit design experimentation. The Acquoria power plant project follows that of the Taccani power plant in Trezzo sull'Adda: a scalable installation that can be replicated in other power plants of Enel Green Power," added Laura Dellamotta, co-founder and general manager of Dotdotdot.

The Interactive Plants project tells the story of energy in an innovative way, setting up a narrative environment that, in its simplicity and adaptability to the different spaces of the facilities concerned, manages to move and involve people. The journey begins immediately with a spark: energy embedded in each of us. A camera equipped with depth sensors detects the movement of visitors, which is transformed into watts to quantify the energy produced by the body. There is no lack of historical aspects and the timeline of technological discoveries, but revised in an interactive light. The tour culminates in a circular and immersive environment, with a 360° projection that explains the operation of the five sources of energy using videos and graphic animations.

To physically accompany visitors on their exploration, in addition to the "human" guides, there will be from time to time digital alter-egos or characters of the various types of energy. Hydro for hydroelectric energy, Gaia for geothermal energy, Mariasole for solar energy, Levante for wind energy and Marina for marine energy.

At the end of the tour, visitors will have to prove that they have become "Energy Ministers" in the field: they will do so by playing a video game to put into practice what they have learned, choosing each time the best scenario based on climate, environment and economy to meet the energy demand of a community. To create greater empathy between characters and visitors, Dotdotdot has focused on the quality of the dialogue. Thanks to voice recognition technology, triggered by keywords through the guide's helmet, characters respond to visitors' questions with a "human" and musical voice, far from the depersonalized speech of ordinary digital "voice assistants". Furthermore, the background sound of the installations, such as the sound of water, wind or fire, is not produced by sampled sounds, but rather is synthesized in real-time. This algorithmic "procedural audio" generates a more realistic effect and a result that varies according to the noise and people present.

The Acquoria power plant is located on the left bank of the Aniene River, below the archaeological complex of the Sanctuary of Hercules the Winner, one of the oldest religious buildings in history. Two small-scale plants had been built before the current power plant; the first was built in 1884 by engineer Gaulard and aimed at lighting Tivoli, while the second was inaugurated in 1892. During that year, for the first time in the world, alternating current was transmitted at a great distance: from the Acquoria Power Plant Tivoli to the Porta Pia station to illuminate Rome. In 1902 the new Acquoria power plant was built, located at the entrance to the Valle dell’Inferno. The plant was later expanded in 1929 by adding three units consisting of Francis turbines and alternator with vertical axis and power of 17 MVA each, powered by the new San Giovanni waterway. The plant currently produces 154 GWh with the two groups installed on the San Giovanni waterway and 2.9 GWh with a group installed on the Vescovali waterway for a total of 157 GWh.