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The Grand Dixence hydroelectric complex celebrated a triple anniversary

The Grand Dixence hydroelectric complex celebrated a triple anniversary in Zermatt (Valais) on 28 August: namely the 50 years since the completion of the Z’Mutt pumping station, the 50 years since the hydraulic concessions went into force, and the 65 years since the founding of the company Grande Dixence SA.

The celebrations commenced with an official ceremony at the Z’Mutt pumping station. Over 130 guests gathered to visit the plant including representatives of the company and the granting local municipalities, Cantonal Councillor Jean-Michel Cina (Head of the Valais Department of the Economy, Energy and Land Use), and workers who took part in the construction work.

On Saturday 29 August, there was a massive turnout by the general public to the invitation from Grande Dixence S.A.: more than 500 people attended the open day and made the trip to Z’Mutt to visit the pumping station. They also took this opportunity to learn about the challenges currently faced by hydropower. The visitors were greeted by glorious sunshine and a spectacular view of the Matterhorn.

Grande Dixence: 100% renewable, flexible, reliable, domestically produced energy

The Grande Dixence complex is the flagship of Swiss hydroelectric power. With the water that it is entitled to use, Grande Dixence now generates an average of over 2,000 GWh annually, i.e. about 20% of the energy produced by all of Switzerland’s reservoir and dam systems. Associated with Cleuson-Dixence, it is the country’s most powerful electricity generation plant, with a capacity of 2,000 MW. Within three minutes, it can feed as much power into the extra-high voltage grid as two Swiss nuclear power stations. The Grande Dixence dam with 400 million m3 of water represents Switzerland’s largest store of renewable energy. This 100% renewable, clean, flexible, domestically produced energy contributes significantly to the security of Swiss energy provision and to the stability of the Swiss and European power networks.