There are currently close to 150 people working on site. Around 50 of them are involved in getting the power plant up and running, while the others are working on building the groups in the machine cavern and completing the finishing works. Commissioning is progressively carried out on several machines in parallel, which requires perfect coordination of these complex operations. The machine cavern holds a total of six pump turbines, each with a capacity of 150 MW. Work will continue until the end of 2021, when the Nant de Drance plant will be fully operational.
A cutting-edge power plant
Nant de Drance SA shareholders have invested about CHF 2.2 billion in the construction of the pumped storage power plant. This investment demonstrates a long-term vision and a willingness to meet the challenges of future electricity supply. Depending on demand, the 900 MW plant will be able to produce or store large quantities of energy in a very short period of time. This exceptional flexibility will play a decisive role, as electricity production becomes increasingly volatile due to the expansion of new renewable energies and the growing demand for flexibility. The balancing energy provided by Nant de Drance can balance short-term differences between electricity production and consumption. The plant will make a decisive contribution to the stability of the European electricity grid and the security of supply within Switzerland.
September 2008: construction work begins
July 2011: the project is modified, with the capacity increased from 600 to 900 MW and the upper dam raised
March 2014: the machine cavern is fully dug out
September 2014: work to raise the Vieux Emosson dam is completed
December 2018: the major construction work is completed
November 2019: the intake valves are opened for the first time
May 2020: the turbines are turned for the first time
August 2020: the first turbine is synchronised with the grid
For more information about the Nant de Drance power plant: www.nant-de-drance.ch