The hydropower plant started operating on August 2, 1900. It was built in less than four years after the one at Niagara Falls as the first hydroelectric power plant in the Balkans which was based on Tesla's principles of alternating current.
It was built for the purposes of the Weaving Factory, and the initiator of the alternating current application was Professor Djordje M. Stanojevic.
Generators and the equipment were purchased from the company Siemens & Halske. The Turbine manufacturer was “Danubius-Maschinen Hartmann” i.e. “Ganz & Co.Danubius Budapest.”
The dam, power plant building and the gap were designed by Aćim Stevović, an engineer. The project was done in consistency with the engineer Jaroslav Jarolímek from the supplier’s company. The Contractors were Josif Granzan and Gopa Ljubic from Nis.
The cornerstone for the plant was set up by King Aleksandar Obrenovic on May 3, 1899.
The complete equipment for hydroelectric power plant, town network and 1500 bulb connections arrived by train to Kragujevac in October 1899. Because of bad roads, a specially constructed ox car with full wooden wheels, pulled by six pairs of oxen, was used to deliver it to Uzice in February 1900.
The construction of power plant building, dam and related facilities, as well as installation of equipment, with some unforeseen problems, was completed on August 2, 1900.
The town network was being made from June to September. The first part of the network was released on August 2, 1900, engaging one turbine and one generator in the production. The lighting of the town was completed on September 23, 1900. Full electrification of Uzice was done by the end of the year 1900.
In June 1904, the plant building was expanded; another turbine with the associated generator was built in, which doubled the work of the stations. The power plant building had been extended for about 50 m2.
The Hydroelectric power plant "Under the Town" had worked until the works on the construction of the railroad Belgrade-Bar began, when large quantities of stone and earth buried the gap and stopped its work.
The first reconstruction of hydroelectric power plant was made in 1990. On the occasion of 100 anniversary of its work, on August 2 2000, the building was reconstructed, designed by architect Katarina Stefanovic. On the square in front of the building, there is an open summer stage, which can be used for various cultural events.
The Association of Užice citizens donated the statue of Nikola Tesla, the work of the sculptor Nikola Jankovic, which was first officially revealed on August 1, 2008.
The plant building and its immediate surroundings were declared as cultural heritage of great importance.