|Site Description||The Sogi Power Plant is located in Kagoshima Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan and at the time of its construction in 1907, sat at the cusp of cultural change in Japan. On one side, it lies at the tail end of the Meiji period, one of the fastest periods of industrial development and maturity in the world. On the other side, the Sogi Power Plant was on the tipping point between small-scaled hydroelectric industry for exclusive commercial use and the advancement of generating hydroelectric power for everyone.
Founded by Shitagau Noguchi in 1906, Sogi Denki (Electric) designed the dam to use water from the nearby Sogi-no-Taki waterfall to power the Okuchi gold mines, five miles to the north. The Sogi Power Plant exemplifies the typical style of dams during this time: low voltage, commercial use only, limited range, and in collaboration with foreign companies to help in the design and construction of their new factories.
Today, the Sogi Power Plant is unique among Japan’s national industrial heritage sites as the only power plant selected from the Meiji era. Active until 1965, the Sogi Power Plant produced electricity for Kagoshim Prefectur for near 60 years. Due to the need to fight frequent floods and generate more electricity a new dam was build downstream, Tsuruda dam. Today, the Sogi Power Plant sits at great risk, submerged seven months of the year due to the larger dam’s water reservoir.
|Project Description||In December of 2014, Japan’s National Congress of Industrial Heritage, in collaboration with the Japanese government, nominated the Sogi Power Plant to the CyArk’s 500 Challenge acknowledging the importance of the Sogi Power Plant and its contribution to our shared global heritage.
As part of recognizing the role the Sogi Power Plant has played in Japan’s cultural transformation, CyArk has partnered with the geopositioning manufacturer, Topcon and Japan’s National Congress of Industrial Heritage to document this unique site. For this project, the team employed a range of new technologies including unmanned air vehicles to photograph details of the terrain, mobile scanning to document the broader environment, and terrestrial scanners to capture the details and condition of the power plant. The data captured will contribute to the on-going efforts towards monitoring and long-term conservational planning of the site.|