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Intake valves opened at the Nant de Drance power plant

On Monday 25 November, water started flowing through the pipes at the Nant de Drance power plant. This is an important step for Eric Wuilloud, who has been running the project since it first began to take shape back in 2006. We asked him three questions about this milestone.

Three questions to...

Eric Wuilloud


Director Nant de Drance SA


Eric Wuilloud, how does opening the valves fit into the Nant de Drance project?

It's a key step in the process. Water is the essence of the Nant de Drance power plant – that's what it's being built for. Our teams have been working hard for more than ten years to do the digging and install the pipes and the six turbines in the underground cavern. In a few months' time, the plant will be up and running, generating its first kilowatt-hours.

Were the teams nervous when the valves were being opened? Were there any risks involved?

There are always going to be some risks, but in this case they were limited. The pipes are filled up very slowly via two by-pass pipes measuring 25 cm in diameter. We were actually quite excited about opening the valves. It's a major step for everyone working on the site.

And how was it for you personally?

It's like climbing a mountain. We haven't reached the top yet, but we're getting there. And when we look down, we can see how much progress we’ve made and all the obstacles we’ve overcome. It's a great feeling!

Christel Varone

Media Relations

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