A ONE-OF-A-KIND POWER PLANT
The Grande Dixence dam, the world’s highest gravity dam, is part of a vast complex that includes four pumping stations (Z’Mutt, Stafel, Ferpècle and Arolla) and three power stations (Fionnay, Nendaz and Bieudron) with a total output of 2,000 MW.
The Bieudron power station alone holds three world records: the drop height (1,883 m), the output of each Pelton turbine (3 x 423 MW) and the output at each pole of the alternating current generators (35.7 MVA). 100 km of tunnels in the midst of the mountainous area collect meltwater from 35 glaciers in the canton of Valais. Thanks to 75 water catchment points, the water that powers the turbines comes from a vast area, all the way from the Mattertal valley (Zermatt region) to the Val d'Hérens.
The Grande Dixence hydroelectric power complex generates some 2 billion kWh of power per year and accounts for 20% of Switzerland’s energy storage capacity. It provides enough electricity to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes.