Champagne 1 Power Plant

Within the Champagne 1 run-of-river hydropower plant, water energy from the Dora di Rhêmes is channelled through two 2,250-meter-long penstocks from the Sorressamont forebay reservoir. The transformation into electricity is carried out by three hydraulic turbines connected to respective alternators. 4,000 litres of water per second, which, after a 462-meter drop, makes 11,500 KW available to the alternator terminals. Annual renewable energy production is 64 million KWh.

The Champagne 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant went into operation in 1921. Its structure still draws attention and inspires curiosity. It is a veritable Belle Époque industrial monument to the fledgling electricity industry: the plant is one of the most artistic in the Aosta Valley, to the point that it has been called the “Cathedral of Light.”

In the control room, from where plant operation and production were once controlled, there are now electronic remote control panels. Also of interest is the former 50 kV cabin with busbars, disconnectors and switches from the period when the Champagne power plants fed, with others, the Cogne plants in Aosta.

This plant is part of one of the Energy Tours routes.

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Characteristics of the plant

Key information

Municipality: Villeneuve (AO)

Commissioning: year 1921

Watercourse: Dora di Rhêmes

Intake structure: Dora di Rhêmes

Other information

Altitude: 678 m asl

Catchment basin: 121 km2

Diversion canal: open-channel flow (4 km)

Units: no. 3 with Pelton turbine

Other information

Concession jump: 462 m

Flow rate: 6 m3/s

Power: 11.5 MW


Last update: Jun 15, 2022 10:49:22 (GMT+2)