The Power Plant
The Montemartini centre was the first public power plant to produce electricity for Rome. It opened at the beginning of the 1900s on the Via Ostiense, between the General Markets and the left bank of the Tiber.
Its history is intertwined with that of the Municipal Electric Company, now Acea, which was created in 1909.
The plant was opened in 1912 and just the next year it was named in honour of the Officer for Technology, Giovanni Montemartini.
The position chosen for it was near to the river, with a constant supply of water, and outside the customs enclosure, so it was not subject to combustion restrictions.
The extremely modern productive machinery (groups of diesel motors and alternator steam-turbines) were provided by the Tosi firm; initially they produced 7000 kW of power, increased in 1924 to 16,000, thanks to the addition of steam turbines.
In 1933 two large diesel engines were installed.
In 1963 part of the plant was decommissioned and a few years later the whole plant ceased production. The building was restructures and transformed during the 1980s into an “ Art Centre”. Today the building houses a permanent exhibition of sculpture from the collection of the Musei Capitolini.