Unlike the other plants in the area between Recoaro and Valdagno, the hydroelectric plant known as Montagna Spaccata was not part of the Lanificio Marzotto energy strategy. It was in fact designed and built for the engineering firm owned by Girolamo Dalle Ore, one of the key players in the life and economy of the Agno valley in the early decades of the twentieth century. The exploitation of hydroelectric energy was one of Dalle Ore’s many and heterogeneous businesses and interests, located throughout the valley of the Agno river, which was often intertwined with his activity as administrator and politician. His interest in energy was mainly connected to the exploitation of the nearby lignite mine of Mount Pulli, of which Dalle Ore had the concession: the operation of the pumps, fans, as well as the numerous and energy-consuming lifting equipment required a considerable amount of energy. The use of water as an energy source could be an effective solution.
Dalle Ore was primarily interested in the waters of the Torrazzo stream, a right tributary of the Agno river, and one of his small inlets, the Rossecume. He submitted various applications which, however, encountered some obstacles, with special reference to damage that these initiatives would cause to the mill owned by Luigi Pellichero and the nearby Borga district. The issue was eventually settled with an agreement between the parties.
Attention then focused on the waters of the Montagna Spaccata stream. This represented (and still represents) an important tourist attraction in the area, thanks to the constant and patient work of the waters that had created a deep and long fracture: “Beautiful ravine, with falling water in the bottom, which offers a grand and picturesque scene”, in the words of A. Fornasa. Protests soon raised against the use of these waters for hydroelectric purposes. The local newspaper in Recoaro, “L’Agno” warned about the danger existing for this natural beauty. A compromise was eventually found, with Dalle Ore pledging to ensure the necessary quantity and continuity of water to Montagna Spaccata in the summer months.
To make up for the lower levels of energy production in summer, a second small factory was designed, named “Terra Rossa”. It was located on the right bank of the Torrazzo stream, not far from the road to Fongara, and it housed two Pelton turbines.
After discontinuing its operations in the late 1960s, the Montagna Spaccata power plant, now owned by Impianti Agno, is back in operation again.