Electricité d'Emosson SA collects water from the Mont Blanc Massif, which it channels into a lake located at an altitude of 1930 meters. Founded in 1954, the company decided to begin the construction work of the Emosson Dam in April 1967, which became operational on July 1st , 1975. This was made possible by the flooding of the Barberine Dam, previously agreed upon by its owners, the Swiss Federal Railways (CFF); it is now submerged under 42 meters of water.Since 1967, the Emosson logo
has figured on all the debt securities and bond coupons issued by Electricité d'Emosson SA.
A French-Swiss Joint Venture
The water coming from the high valleys of the river Arve and Eau Noire in France, and, on the other hand, from Val Ferret and Trient Valley in Switzerland, is drained by three headrace tunnels.
Through the South and West collectors located on the French side, the water is routed to the artificial lake by gravity. The volumes from the Swiss side arrive through the Eastern supply line; after passing through the compensation basin of the Esserts, the water must be pumped by Vallorcine power station to Emosson.
With a mean gross head of 1400 m, the two stations of the scheme - Châtelard-Vallorcine (France, 189 MW) and La Bâtiaz (Martigny, 162 MW) - annually generate 2200 TJ (612 GWh) of energy, of which 94 % in the winter. The secondary head at les Esserts-Vallorcine can directly turbine the volumes arriving through the Eastern supply line when the water is not pumped to Emosson; it is then routed to the lower head of Vallorcine-La Bâtiaz. The water flows back to the Rhone river near Martigny.
The overall production of the upper and lower headraces at Emosson-Vallorcine and Le Châtelard-La Bâtiaz is 870 GWh, of which 250 GWh is produced in summer and 620 GWh in the winter. The energy used for pumping between les Esserts and Emosson represents 110 GWh per year.
(1 GWh = 1 M kWh)
Emosson Dam, One of the Most Spectacular Hydroelectric Power Schemes in Europe
The construction of the dam started in September 1969 and was completed in August 1973. The storage reservoir was filled for the first time on September 10th 1975.
The Emosson Dam can be accessed by a mountain road that is open to the public during the summer season. A bus service ensures the connection between Trient, Finhaut and the Dam, and there is also an access by railway consisting of the funicular between Châtelard-Village - Giétroz - Château-d'Eau, the high-mountain railway that ends at the bottom of the dam, and the mini-funicular of Emosson (inclined elevator), which takes the visitors to the top.
This is a gorgeous site in the heart of the Mont Blanc.
La Bâtiaz Power Station (Martigny, Valais, Suisse)
Located in Martigny, La Bâtiaz is a standard-type hydroelectric power station, with two vertical units each including an alternator and a Pelton turbine, an expansion basin and an underground tailrace canal of 1.2 km.
The power station site was carefully chosen, with due regard to a number of criteria such as the high groundwater level and the particular geological conditions of the place.
La Bâtiaz assembles data from all the facilities. The entire scheme, including the very complex power station of Vallorcine, is remote-controlled and monitored from this location.
Vallorcine Power Station (France)