In a joint project, the two hydropower companies Nant de Drance SA and Salanfe SA have restored an area covering some 45,000 m2 of land belonging to the municipalities of Evionnaz, Salvan and Vernayaz to its natural state. Between April 2014 and November 2018, over a total distance of 4.5 kilometres, Salanfe SA installed two sections of a medium-voltage line (10/16 kV) underground. This allowed 96 wooden masts including their concrete pedestals to be removed. The total costs of CHF 2.8 million and were borne in equal shares by the two companies. Nant de Drance SA paid the financial contribution as part of the compensation measures within the framework of the construction of the new pumped storage power station.
The first renaturalised section runs from the Miéville hydropower plant to the Vallon de Van. The second section runs along the northern shore of Lac de Salanfe. Following the dismantling of the masts and their pedestals, the landscape was completely restored to its natural state, thus creating added environmental value. The underground electrical line supplies part of the electricity for the equipment required to operate the Salanfe hydropower plant (the funicular railway, the dam and the pumping stations in Clusanfe and Giétroz, etc.). It also supplies electricity to households in the Vallon de Van and to the Auberge de Salanfe.
Nant de Drance is committed to the environment
Within the framework of the construction of the pumped storage power plant, Nant de Drance SA committed itself to 16 environmental compensation measures totalling CHF 22 million. The 16 projects aimed at enhancing the landscape or restoring it to its natural state will be implemented in the immediate vicinity of the construction site and in the Rhone Valley. They compensate for the environmental impact of the construction of the pumped storage power plant and the high-voltage line between Le Châtelard and Martigny. Most of the projects are currently in progress. The installation of the electrical line for Salanfe is one of the first compensation measures that has been fully completed.
Learn more about Nant de Drance environmental compensation measures (German).