Lake Hilarion

The artificial lake of Hilarion was formed in the valley of Aliakmonas and extends from the South-Eastern edge of the Grevena district to the area of Aiani Kozani.

It is the 4th dam of the Aliakmons river and is a major development project of PPC. It was constructed from river gravel and has a clay impermeable core.

The insurmountable beauty of nature emerges through a 35-kilometer-long lake that was created due to subsidence of the ground by the waters of the reservoir of the Hilarion hydroelectric project, which has essentially changed the appearance of the entire area. The lake of Hilarion is a worthwhile project, since its construction can lead to the economic, environmental, cultural and touristic upgrading of the area.
The purpose of the construction of the dam is the operation of the hydroelectric plant. Its equally main purpose is to ensure the uninterrupted water supply of Thessaloniki, from the Aliakmonas river, as well as the total coverage of irrigation needs of the downstream plains of Imathia, Pella and Thessaloniki, an area of approximately 900,000 acres. The serious and thorough study which has preceded, in respect of the above-mentioned areas, will reveal the highly valuable contribution of the dam, from the very next coming summer periods of prolonged drought. In addition, the landscape of the Polyphytos lake will result from the better management of the reservoir level of the Polyphytos hydroelectric project, while the Hilariona hydroelectric project will contribute to the environmental upgrading of the Aliakmonas River Delta, by ensuring 140 million cubic meters of water per year in its bed, helping at the same time the possibility of irrigation in the northern zone of the aforementioned large artificial lake.
During the construction of the dam, archaeological excavations were financed, which brought to light important finds from the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Archaic periods, which are kept in the archaeological museum of Aiani.

PPC, following from the beginning a correct strategy of honest consultation and negotiation with the local communities involved (Deskatis, Servion-Velvedou) spent significant sums in order to ensure the smoothness of operations and the greatest possible satisfaction of all the requests of the people living in a considerably long radius from the dam and the river.

One of the most important projects was the relocation of the Dormition monastery of Tourniki of the Municipality of Deskatis. It is a historical monastery whose catholicon is two-storey and consists of two single-room churches. The temples are richly frescoed and date from inscriptions to 1481 and 1728.

The transfer of the monastery was deemed necessary as the lake was created in the place where it was today. So in order to save the historic monastery, it was moved by 140 meters and on a slope with a 25% gradient. From its current location, the monument offers a magnificent view of the lake.

From Panagia Evangelistria of Bounassia the landscape towards the lake is unique. The traveler, looking down from above, sees a dream complex of fjords, successive water basins, dense vegetation, with rich flora and a wide variety of water birds.

On the left bank of the Aliakmonas river, on Mount "Kallistrato" is the monastery of Saint Nikanoros Zavordas, a reference point for our region. The monastery is surrounded by a high wall with battlements, which give the impression of a fortress, while in the middle of a cliff near the monastery there is the hermitage of Osios. The waters of the lake now reach the foot of the "Kallistrato" mountain and seem to kiss the place where Saint Nicanor practiced asceticism.

The impressive Hilarion dam generously gives everyone "clean" energy, water, great new tourist opportunities in the wider area and enjoyment of a reborn and renewed natural landscape.
On 13 July 2012 PPC announced the closure of the diversion tunnel, marking the completion of the dam and the start of filling the lake, the exact time it will take to fill the lake will depend on how wet the year will be, under normal conditions
conditions in six (6) to eight (8) months. will have a surface area of 21.9 sq. km. length 35 km and a capacity of 412 million km2, it is only 2-3 km from the SW shore of Lake Polyfytos, at the bridge of Rymniou Kozani. The generating station which has an installed capacity of 150MW is expected to start its trial operation in about a year.
The dam was built from river gravel, has an impermeable clay core, its volume is 8,800,000 m2. with a maximum height from the foundation of 130 meters and the length at its crown is 540 m.
The project includes the following structures: diversion tunnel, two spillway tunnels with sluice gates, bottom discharge tunnel, intake tunnel, drainage tunnels, sluice well, road tunnels. In addition to the main station, a small hydropower station of 4.5 MW is planned, at the outlet of the bottom discharger, to ensure the ecological supply of 4.5 km. of water per second.
The Hilarion dam is the sixth in a row of Aliakmons after the corresponding hydroelectric projects of Polyfytos, Sfikia, Asomatos, Agia Varvara and Makrochorio.
The Hilarion dam and the corresponding PPC hydroelectric plant are ready after 21 whole years, since it should be noted that it started in 1991, the construction was stopped in 1996, to start again in the summer of 2003.
With the creation of the lake in question, we all hope, in addition to the benefits of lighting, for the development of tourism in the surrounding areas (Elati, Panagia, Paliouria, Dimitra, etc.). The visitor to the lake can easily combine short trips to the monuments and sites of the area, such as the Monastery of Agios Nikanoros (Zavorda), Panagia Tournikiou (Paliopanagia), which was moved due to the project, the Monastery of Evangelistria Vounassa located at an altitude of 1,000 m. , to walk the green Vunassa with fir trees and wild beauty, gazing at Kozani, Vasilitsa, the mountains of Pindos, Meteora, the plain of Filouria, , Agrafa, in an endless journey in the beautiful Greek Land.

Lake Hilarion takes its name from the monastery of Hilarion Aianis Kozani, next to which the dam was built and is the newest lake in the country. -

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