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Open day at the Navizence power station

Rehabilitation work on the Navizence hydroelectric power station in Chippis (Valais) has now been completed four years after it began. The power station opens its doors to the public on Saturday 10 May 2014 from 10h to 17h for the first time. On this occasion visitors will be able to discover the inner workings of hydroelectric power generation in the Sierre region. The Navizence power station has a total capacity of 70 MW and will generate about 300 GWh of electricity per year, sufficient to cover the needs of close to 70,000 households.

Modernisation work on the Navizence power station in Chippis (Valais) has been completed four years after it began in April 2010. To mark this event, Forces Motrices de la Gougra SA invites the public to discover the new power station on Saturday 10 May 2014. In a tour lasting around one hour, visitors will learn about the inner workings of hydroelectric power generation and discover how the waters of the Val d'Anniviers and the Tourtemagne Valley are transformed into electricity.

More efficient and more operational flexibility

Built in 1908, the Navizence power station was first renovated in the 1950s. The second renovation just completed has enabled the plant to be upgraded in line with the latest technology. Forces Motrices de la Gougra SA partners – Alpiq (54%), Rhonewerke (27.5%), the towns of Anniviers (7.7%), Chippis (1.8%), Chalais (0.5%) and Sierre (7.5%) as well as Sierre Energie (1%) – invested 75 million Swiss francs in this latest renovation project.

The rehabilitation work made it possible to improve the efficiency of the machines, with the aim of adding greater operational flexibility. The seven old hydroelectric groups have been replaced by three new groups, each with a capacity of 23.7 MW. The rehabilitation work was carried out in three phases in order to limit operational stoppages. The final phase involving clean-up work on the shell of the facility has just ended. The total capacity of the plant has increased from 50 MW to 70 MW, of which 20 MW is held in reserve so as to optimise power generation throughout the year. This will also allow for the future development of the facility in the event that a new headrace tunnel is built between Vissoie and Niouc. The Navizence power station generates approximately 300 GWh annually, representing almost half the total electricity generated by Forces Motrices de la Gougra sites.

Open day: practical information

  • Free open day entry Saturday 10 May from 10h to 17h
  • Tour inside the power plant lasts about one hour
  • Snacks available on site
  • Parking available at Sous-Géronde (behind the Bella Italia restaurant) as well as next to the Constellium industrial site
  • Shuttle bus from Sierre station which stops at the most distant parking area (bus departure point: substation next to Plaine Bellevue, Sous-Géronde cemetery parking site).