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CNR – The hydroelectricity and river development scheme of Bollène

CNR’s site at Bollène comprises a hydropower plant inaugurated in 1952 by President Vincent Auriol, described at the time as the most productive in Europe, and a lock, then the largest in the world. The majestic façade of the plant has been listed as a historic monument. There are also a wind farm and two solar power plants. The plant, CNR’s most productive, currently produces the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 815,000 households.

By coming to Bollène, the visitor will be immersed in the remarkable history of this scheme. They will discover the gigantic dimensions and highly technical nature of the installations, as well as the skills of the men and women responsible for production and the hydraulic safety of the surrounding population.

The visitor will understand how the electricity is produced and step right up to the wind turbines and solar power plant. The tour programme includes an outdoors circuit with a wonderful view over the headrace canal, the wind farm, the solar power plant and a passage next to the lock with its monumental arched gates. An indoors circuit describes the history of CNR and the site, with photos, films, interactive touch tables and animated mock-ups. A scientific and pedagogic gallery then explains how electricity is generated from water, the wind and the sun. The tour ends with a bird’s-eye view over the impressive machine room, the pulsing heart of the plant, and an immersion in the former control room, kept in its original state. Sensations guaranteed!

The crowning point of the tour: exceptional access to the edge of the lock.

Tour conditions:

Reservation essential 

Children must be over 8 years old, accompanied by adults.

For the safety of all, please come with proof of identity and wear flat, closed shoes.