Built to channel the water from the first Dixence dam through its turbines, the Chandoline hydropower plant is one of the four that currently use the Lac des Dix water supply. To commemorate its 75 years of existence, events will be held from Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 September at the Chandoline plant.
Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 September: Visits by the schools of the municipalities that granted concessions to the original Dixence dam.
Friday 11 September: Official ceremony in the presence of representatives of cantonal authorities, concession-granting municipalities, Alpiq and the primary electric utilities of the canton of Valais.
Saturday 12 September from 9 am to 5 pm: Open Day. The public is invited to follow the visitors' circuit inside the power plant in the presence of specialists in the sector. At 2 pm there will be a presentation on the power plant's architecture given by Mrs. Claire Eggs Debidour, architect.
75 years of history: from the first Dixence dam to the Grande Dixence of today Located on the left bank of the Rhone river near Sion, the Chandoline facility is an accumulation hydropower plant. The first Dixence dam, with a reservoir capacity of 50 million m3, and the Chandoline power plant were built by EOS from 1929 to 1934 so as to utilize the water of the Val des Dix drainage basin. The construction of the Cleuson dam, with a capacity of 20 million m3, allowed tapping into the upper Val de Nendaz catchment area from 1949, thereby increasing the water volume channelled through the Chandoline turbines.
In 1957, the first Dixence dam was submerged by the Grande Dixence reservoir lake, which provides water to the power plants of Nendaz, Fionnay and Bieudron as well as to Chandoline. Until February 1957, the 1748-metre head of the Chandoline plant was considered to be the highest in the world. The 5 Pelton turbines, with a power capacity of 150 MW, produce around 212 million kWh of electricity, or the equivalent of the average annual consumption of 55,000 Swiss households.