ELECTRIFICATION OF LA SILA
The electrification of the CalabrianC region is closely tied to the initiatives of the Southern Electric Company and its subsidiary, the Company for hydraulic power of the Sila.The latter was established in 1908 with the participation of the major exponents of the nascent Italian electric industry with the purpose of developing the large river basin of the Sila and exploit its enormous hydroelectric potential visualized by the farsightedness of the Milanese engineer ,Angelo Omodeo.
In the early 1900, the major hydroelectric project attempted in Calabria was the one built at Muro Lucano. This project was sponsored by Francesco Saverio Nitti [ a native of Muro Lucano] and by the engineer Angelo Omodeo, one of the maj or European expert in the developing of hydraulic and hydroelectric power.
Taking advantage of special provision 985 of a law enacted on july of 1913, previously exploited for the construction of the Tirso system in Sardinia, the group, representing the hydraulic potential of the Sila, obtained from the state the concession to build and manage,for a period of 60 years, a complex hydroelectric system consisting of dams and artificial lakes that would transform the agricultural and industrial landscape of a large area of Calabria, Apulia and Lucania. The controlling interest in this endeavor remained firmly in the hands of the managing group of SME[ particularly under the control of Maurizio Capuano,in the initial phase and , subsequently, under the direction of his closest collaborator, Giuseppe Cenzato, who headed the SME[Southern electric company] from 1928 to 1956. The Silan system[ the artificial lakesof Ampollino,Orichella and Arvo with their respective power plants] were built during the 1920's under the stewardship of Angelo Omodeo.
The hydraulic works radically changed the agrarian landscape and the ecosystem of the Silan plateau and gave birth to a radical realignment of the agricultural sector [se e the bitterly contested reclamation and redistribution of lands in the province of Crotone.] and to a slow and difficult industrialization of the region. From the start, it became obvious that the considerable energy generated by the Silan plants [estimated at 500,000 kh] had to be directed not only to the Calabrian region, but to other neighboring regions [Campania, Apulia, Lucania and Sicily] to promote the development of agriculture and to satisfy the energy needs of large industrial clients. Recognizing this potential, the SME built huge high tension networks [150 kv] to reach the region of Apulia and Campania and championed the Silan project to bring industries to this area such as Montecatini's LA Pertusola, the Italian producer of aluminum. The financing of the Silan project was promoted by Maurizio Capuano, who had unsuccessfully approached American investors, and was in grater part backed by Italian banks [Comit became the leading lender together with some American investors, through the establishment of the Italian Superpower Corporation, and also minor investors such as Bastogi Credit and the Bank of Roma] and from Switzerland [The Italo-Suisse, founding partner of SME].
During the 30's the SME, under the leadership of Cenato, consolidated its holdings in Calabria absorbing the existing electric companies [the electric industries of Calabria and the Riuniti di Societa, who were merged into the Electric Company of Calabria] and strengthening its subsidiary,Hydraulic Forces of LA SILA, bought in 1942. During this period, the corporate structure of SME changed radically when the controlling interest in the company passed to IRI who, nevertheless, kept Cenzato as president.
Prior to the second world war, electric generating systems were built in Colusia  and Savuto . After the war, the SME of Calabria concentrated its efforts in building power plants on the Mucone river, the Silan basin of Cecita  and the hydraulic systems of Mucone I and Mucone II AND , along the river Coscile, the generating plants of Coscile I [1951 ] and Coscile II [. In 1962, the Vaccarizzo plant was built to utilize the waters of the Ariamacina basin in the Sila. After the nationalization of the energy sector, ENEL[STATE POWER CO] built the plants of Magisano and Albi utilizing the waters of the basin of Possente .
With the start of the privatization of the energy sector and the so called Silan auction,ENEL was forced to cede part of the Silan works to the Spanish company ENDESA, one of the largest private energy enterprise in the world. ENDESA represents the return of the private sector in the hydraulic systems of La Sila, after its nationalization in 1964. ENDESA entered the Italian market having won the auction for ELETTROGEN, the first of the Genco auctioned by ENEL. Elettrogen, with Interpower and Eurogen, was one of three companies [so called GENCO] in which Enel , adhering to the privatization directive of the national government, merged a considerable part of its electric generating capacity. The deal amounted to 2,630 billion Euro [ca. 5000 billion liras] to which was added a sum of 1,054 billion euro [ca 2000 billion liras] in debts transferred with the sale. Elettrogen boasted a generating capacity of 5.438 Mw and,in the year 2000, realized net revenues of 2,451 billion lires. Formed in 1999 with the transfer of generating systems belonging to Enel; it had 1600 employees and 7% of the national generating capacity. Elettrogen operated 5 thermoelectric plants with a capacity of 4.424 Mw and 25 hydroelectric plants, among which were the plants in the province of Catanzaro and Crotone generating 1.014 Mw. The other plants were located on Lombardy, Friuli, Marche, Umbria, Sardinia, Calabria and Sicily.
The capacity of the power plants of Catanzaro, producing 115 Mw of installed power, made up 2.12% of the total generated by Elettrogen. This group was made up of the two hydroelectric plants of Albi and Magisano, the two of Satriano I and Satriano II fed by artificial basins and two fed by estuaries, the Celeste [ in the municipality of Cosolato] and Sersale I. The hydroelectric plant of Albi has an effective power output of 19Mw, the one at Magisano 39MW, Satriano I,15Mw, Satriano II, 19 Mw, Celeste with 5.1 Mw ND Sersale, 02 Mw. The generating capacity of the nucleus of Cotronei [kr] has three power plants, one fed by the reservoir of Orichella with output of 129 Mw, another at Calusia generating 49 Mw, and Timpagrande generating 191 Mw.
The Endesa group of Calabria is made up of power plants sistuated along the rivers of Neto, Passante, Vasi, Crocchio, Ancinale and Savuto. The other plants of the Silan plateau remained in concession to Enel.
Elettrogen, today called Endesa Italy, is controlled by a consortium of companies; The Spanish Endesa who is a majority partner [51 %], the Spanish bank, Santander Central Hispano [34%] and the moltiutility group ASM Brescia [15%].