The museum shall collect and document, secure, conduct research and convey the history attached to rivers and water, hydropower production, electricity, energy-intensive industry and the industrial society. It is a superior task to show man in connection with home, working place, society and nature. The museum aims to arouse interest for and collect material about hydropower production and energy-intensive industry and their effects on society; Technical, economic, social, political, cultural and environmental, through mediation and education. The museum aims to become a national center for knowledge and consultation of norwegian hydropower history and the history attached to energy-intensive industry and the society around it. The museum also has ambitions to preserve, administer and convey knowledge about the national cultural heritage site Tyssedal power plant (Tysso I).
In 1989 the foundation Odda Museum of Industrial city and archives is established as a follow-up of a feasability-study directed by the municipality in 1985. The project manager is Randi Bårtvedt. In 1994 the museum changes its name to West-Norwegian Industry Museum, and moves its headquarters from Odda to Tyssedal. In 2000 the regional committee of culture and health aknowledges new statutes for an extended foundation as well as change of name into Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry.
Odda Municipality, Odda Smelteverk AS, Norzink as (now: Boliden Odda AS), Tinfos Titan og Iron K/S, A/S Tyssefaldene, and LO i Odda og Omland (labor union), BKK, Bjølvefossen ASA, DNN Industries, E-CO vannkraft as, Eidfjord municipality, Norwegian electrician and powerstation union, Energibedriftenes Landsforening (EBL), Haugaland Kraft, Hardanger og Voss regionråd, Herdlandsfoss Kraftverk, Hydro Energi Røldal-Suldal, Indre Hardanger Kraftlag, Kvinnherad Energi, Lederne, LO Noreg, NHO-Hordaland, Norsk Arbeidsmannsforbund, NIVA, Norges vassdrag og energidirektorat (NVE), Noregs Ingeniørorganisasjon (NITO), Norwegian Chemical Workers Union, Odda Energi, Norwegian Industry, SINTEF, Statkraft SF, Sunnhordland Kraftlag, Tekna, Ullensvang herad - municipality.