Gavet - Francie


France’s largest hydroelectric project is the replacement of six power plants with an underground hydroelectric facility and an upstream dam at Romanche-Gavet in the northern Alps of the southeastern Isère region. The project, carried out for EDF, is designed to optimise the hydroelectric potential of the Romanche River and supply 250,000 homes.

On the 9th of October 2020, the new Romanche-Gavet* hydroelectric plant, France’s biggest hydropower project, was commissioned after ten years of construction work. The structure was inaugurated by Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The event was attended by Joël Giraud, State Secretary in charge of rural development reporting to the Minister for Regional Cohesion and Relationships with Regional Authorities, as well as by elected representatives and delegates from the local and regional public authorities.

With a capacity of 97 megawatts, the new Romanche-Gavet hydroelectric plant can increase power output by 40% along the same stretch of river (La Romanche). This structure illustrates the commitment to developing hydropower, the largest source of renewable energy in France and Europe. Its output will equate to the amount of power consumed every year by the cities of Grenoble and Chambéry (230 000 inhabitants), using a decarbonised and renewable energy source.

Comprising a new dam as well as a new underground plant in the depths of the mountain, the hydroelectric plant is replacing 6 old plants and 5 old dams. Blending seamlessly into the landscape of the Romanche valley, the structure protects the environment and preserves biodiversity. Nature has been restored along the banks of the dam by replanting species that were gathered within a radius of 25 kilometres in order to prevent the proliferation of invasive plants.

TFI – Tunnels & Formworks International contributed in the design and realization of the works