At the end of the 19th century the local authorities of Izegem decide to build a power plant: a revolutionary step, as only two power plants were in operation in the whole of Belgium at that time. The plant is taken out of service in 1966. The machine house has been converted into a museum where you can learn all about steam and power.
In 1901 the plant is inaugurated by prince Albert, which is why this street is still called Prins Albertlaan. The plant provides power for public lighting, but families and companies can also take out a contract. Two workers work at the plant from 7 am until 10:30 pm. Initially people are not really interested because electricity is so expensive, but this begins to change around 1909: the prices decrease and there is an increasing industrial need for power.
The electricity is generated by means of steam engines. This requires 24,000 kg of coal every day. The coal is supplied via the Roeselare-Lys Canal, which runs behind the power plant. The water is also pumped up from the canal. The power plant remains in continuous operation until the mid-1950s, after which it is occasionally used in case of peak moments until 1966.
The only remnants of the power plant are the large chimney and the machine house. The latter is now a museum where you can see an immense tandem compound steam engine from 1936. It weighs 110 tonnes, is unique in Belgium and is listed as a monument in 1978.
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Prins Albertlaan 3