A national myth in a vale of green
An exceptional industrial site built astride Ain and Haute-Savoie: the 1st hydropower plant built by CNR, Génissiat is a monumental structure that marks the local landscape and France’s post-war energy history.
Baptised the “French Niagara” during its inauguration in 1948, it was the largest hydroelectricity dam in Europe at the time. It supplied Paris with electricity and made CNR a major developer of the river. It remains an essential hydroelectricity facility today.
Génissiat is :
- a major industrial facility at the heart of a spectacular natural site.
- a dam with a total height of 104 m and a width at its base of 100 m.
- 6 turbine units with an installed capacity of 420 megawatts.
- a rich history: a gigantic construction project that began in 1938 and lasted 10 years, continuing during the Second World War.
- an annual energy output amounting to 10% of the total production of the Rhone and the electricity consumption of 700,000 households.
CNR’s industrial adventure began at Génissiat!
Génissiat is the first structure of the cascade of dams and hydropower plants developed by CNR on the River Rhone: 18 others were built downstream from the Upper Rhone until the Mediterranean Sea.
It is singular in that it is the only medium head dam built on the river. With its reservoir capacity of 56 million m3, it can supply high power within a very short time and satisfy a peak in consumption on the grid.