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Study Tour

Tour 3: Kembs, France

Friday 17 May 2019


This study tour supported by EDF provides World Hydropower Congress delegates with the opportunity to visit the Kembs hydropower facility, south of the Upper Rhine in France.

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.

Kembs hydropower plant

Downstream from the port of Basel, the historic Kembs facility was commissioned in 1932. It includes a dam, locks and two hydroelectric power stations.

Tour visitors will find out about the operation of this historic 160 MW hydroelectric power plant: from the feeder canal and the upstream beach, to the engine room equipped with 6 vertical turbine units, the downstream beach and its floating waste treatment device.

The power plant also houses the Rhine Hydraulic Monitoring and Control Center, which remotely manages the operation of all of EDF hydraulic facilities in the Rhine. The navigation locks that are operated and maintained by EDF are the largest on the Rhine and the only ones to be constituted of two large locks.

The five-pass dam is located 6 kilometres upstream of the plant. It marks the origin of the Rhine Island and the Grand Canal d’Alsace, whose course continues for 52 kilometres to supply three other hydraulic power stations and a nuclear power station. The dam has the function of delivering the reserved flow of the Vieux Rhin and managing river floods.

Rhine Island

EDF has recently commissioned a new small hydroelectric plant of 8.5 MW that incorporates a fish pass of the latest generation. At the same time, EDF is developing a major environmental programme that is unique in Europe, both in terms of the size of the site concerned (100 hectares) and its content. This includes the rehabilitation of an old 7 kilometre riverbank, the remodelling of a landscape that alternates wet and dry zones and its accompanying renaturation, and the implementation of an innovative concept of controlled erosion on the banks of the Old Rhine.



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