Nant de Drance pumped energy storage station underway

Isbel Lázaro.

Nant de Drance

The Nant de Drance pumped hydroelectric plant in Switzerland has been completed after 14 years of construction. This facility, with a capacity of 900 MW, stands out for its location in an alpine and underground environment.

In this context, the Swiss renewable energy company Alpiq has officially announced the entry into operation of the 900 MW pumping station in Finhaut, in the Canton of Valais. The project, owned by Alpiq 39%, Swiss Federal Railways 36%, Industrielle Werke Basel 15% and Forces Motrices Valaisannes 10%, began construction in 2008. The plant uses two reservoirs in the Émosson Dam and is located in a cavern at a depth of 600 meters underground.

More details about the Nant de Drance power plant

This plant operates with six pumping turbines, each with a capacity of 150 MW.

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The upper reservoir of the hydroelectric plant has a storage capacity of 227 million m 3 . The construction, which involved an approximate investment of 2 billion Swiss francs, included the excavation of 400,000 m 3 of rock and the drilling of 17 km of galleries.

The project, which was officially launched on September 8, 2008, stood out for its safe approach during implementation. Despite the challenging alpine conditions and working at a depth of 600 meters underground, no serious accidents were recorded. The turbines, using advanced technology, were assembled and tested on site to ensure optimal performance.

Since coming into operation on July 1, 2022, the plant has proven to be highly reliable . Its flexibility allows it to quickly adjust to variations in the electricity market, thus contributing to the stability of the Swiss and European electricity networks.

This project not only represents an engineering milestone, but also a significant step forward towards a more sustainable and secure energy future.

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