EDF has announced that the La Coche power plant has been inaugurated in Savoie, France, with the facility increasing the total capacity of the La Coche pumped-storage hydro facility by 20%..

The commissioning of this new facility, combined with upgrades being made to the existing pumped storage plant, is helping to further develop electrical power storage technologies, an area which is being strongly supported by the EDF Group via its Storage Plan.

The second biggest hydro project in France after the one currently underway at Romanche-Gavet (Isère), this new facility features France’s most powerful Pelton wheel (240MW). It comes in addition to La Coche’s underground power plant, which is already in operation. Commissioned in 1976, this pumped storage plant pumps water from the Aigueblanche dam towards the La Coche impoundment,

The new facility required an investment of €150 million, with €84 million going towards supporting regional businesses including nearly €30 million for Savoie. There were 500 local jobs created or maintained in the region thanks to project-related investments whilst 11 jobs have been created to support labour market integration.

According to EDF, innovation has been an outstanding feature of the project. EDF-designed robots have been used for work being performed in inaccessible areas to keep workers safe and to protect the environment. Furthermore, the Pelton wheel is a product of additive manufacturing, which entails adding material by means of laser metal deposition.

"This new power plant bears testimony to EDF’s long-term presence across all of our regions, as well as its commitment to the development of renewable energy sources in line with our CAP 2030 strategy, which seeks to double theGroup’s global installed renewable capacity by 2030,” said Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and Chief Executive of the EDF Group.  “This facility also forms part of the Group’s Electrical Storage Plan, which aims to develop 10 GW of additional storage capacity world-wide by 2035”.