Since July 2013, the Emosson dam has opened its doors to the public for the entire summer season. From Monday to Saturday, visitors are offered the opportunity to discover Switzerland’s second largest reservoir on a new guided tour. The instructive tour was developed in collaboration between Alpiq, Electricité d’Emosson and the municipality of Finhaut. The new attraction further increases the popularity of the Emosson reservoir amongst tourists and hiking enthusiasts.
A tour into the inner workings of the dam
At the beginning of the guided tour, the visitors are introduced to the Emosson hydroelectric power station by means of a model. A documentary showcases the history of the power station with its three dams, Barberine, Vieux-Emosson and Emosson and the Vallorcine and La Bâtiaz generating centres. Subsequently the visitors are guided inside the 180 metre high dam, where they learn interesting facts about the monitoring and control of the structure. The tour ends on the crest of the dam. The three daily tours are organised by the "Portail Patrimoine" association whose goals include the enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage of the canton of Valais by means of guided tours on specific topics.
Second-largest reservoir in Switzerland
With a capacity of 225 million cubic metres of water, the Lac d‘Emosson is Switzerland's second largest reservoir after the Lac des Dix (Grande Dixence). It is fed by the streams that flow from the Mont Blanc massif mountain range.
The turbines of the Vallorcine (France) and La Bâtiaz (Martigny, Switzerland) power stations utilize the water from the reservoir to generate an average of 800 GWh of energy per year. Electricité d’Emosson SA is owned in equal shares by Alpiq and EDF, whereas Alpiq is the sole proprietor of the generated electricity.
Practical information about the guided tours:
From 8 July until 24 August 2013, free guided tours are available every day except Sunday. The tours depart from in front of the restaurant at the Emosson dam at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 3 p.m. The guided tour lasts approximately one and a half hours. Further information can be obtained from the tourist office in Finhaut: +41 (0)27 768 12 78