Six years after the initial foundation stone was laid, Forces Matrices Hongrin-Léman SA has today officially inaugurated Switzerland's second most powerful pumped storage power station – the 480MW Veytaux plant in the Canton of Vaud.
Over 200 guests assembled in Veytaux this morning in order to take part in the official inauguration, including representatives of the federal, cantonal and local authorities, as well as project partners.
The project involved an investment of CHF 331 million by the FMHL partners – Romande Energie (41.14%), Alpiq (39.29%), Groupe E (13.14%) and the City of Lausanne (6.43%)
Ten years after the first feasibility study was initiated, two new 120 MW pump turbine groups are now operational at the plant. They were constructed in hydro cavern that is 100m long, 25m wide and 56m high, and are controlled remotely by Alpiq's Centre d’Exploitation et de Gestion de la Production in Lausanne.
The construction work was carried out without major incidents and within budget. The two new turbine groups have doubled the power station’s output from 240MW to 480MW (with 60 MW acting as a reserve), making the FMHL pumped storage power station the second most powerful behind the Linth-Limmern facility in the canton of Glarus.
The power station is expected to generate approximately one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of peak energy per year, equivalent to the consumption of some 300,000 households, almost twice the power generated before the construction work (520 million kWh).