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Study Tour

Tour 2: Isère, France

Friday 17 May 2019

Grand’Maison and Romanche-Gavet

Price: 765 EUR / person         Max participants: 12

The Grand’Maison Dam lies upstream in the Romanche valley in Isère, France.

This study tour supported by EDF provides World Hydropower Congress delegates with the opportunity to visit some of the Isère region of France’s most impressive hydropower achievements: the Grand’Maison Dam and the under-construction Romanche-Gavet hydropower plant.

Delegates can book onto study tours when registering for the Congress. If you have already registered and would like to add a tour to your booking you can do so via your ‘MyArea’ page.

Grand’Maison dam

Grand’Maison is one of the most recent large dam projects in Europe. It lies upstream in the Romanche valley between the Belledonne and Grandes Rousses massifs, in the Isère area. Construction started in 1978, was completed in 1985 and commissioning took place in late 1987.

The Grand’Maison power plant is a pumped storage scheme. An upper reservoir is connected to a lower basin in the power plant. During periods of high consumption, the plant turbines take water from the upper reservoir. The water is then returned to the basin downstream. During off-peak periods, mainly at night and during weekends, water from the lower reservoir is pumped back into the upper reservoir. In this way, the system is able to cope with a peak in consumption quickly.

Romanche-Gavet hydropower plant

The Romanche-Gavet hydropower plant is located on the Romanche river in Isère, France.

The Romanche-Gavet hydropower plant, under construction since 2010, will replace five 100-year-old dams and six plants on the Romanche river, with an underground layout and a sole intake dam.

The future plant will produce 560 million KWh  – up 38 per cent on the existing 405 million KWh produced on the same section of river today.

The former plants will be dismantled, except for one which is designated as a heritage site. The landscape will be restored, and the new plant will be entirely underground.


• Early morning train from Paris Gare de Lyon to Grenoble
• Visit of Grand’Maison dam
• Visit of the Romanche-Gavet hydropower plant
• Train from Grenoble to Paris Gare de Lyon

What is included in the price?

• Train tickets and transfers onsite (transfers to/from Paris Gare de Lyon must be organised individually)
• Breakfast, Lunch
• Visits

Exact times and meeting points will be communicated in early April.


Register to attend

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