Ufficio Periferico di Cagliari

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Grande Dixence Dam




Switzerland (Valais)




Lac des Dix

Dam type

Concrete gravity

Construction period


Structural height

285 m

Gross storage capacity

400 Mm

Volume of the dam

6,000,000 m

Normal supply level

2,364 m a.s.l.

Crest elevation

2,365 m a.s.l.

Crest length

700 m

Maximum discharge capacity

The dam has not works for the discharge of flood water. The conduits to the downstream powerplants are built to discharge a 10,000 years frequency flood.

Nameplate capacity of the powerplant

Water accumulated by the Grande Dixence dam is, according to energy needs, routed to the four production plants situated down below: Fionnay, Nendaz, Bieudron and Chandoline. These power stations represent an overall power of 2,000 MW and they produce about 2 billion kWh per year, about one-fifth of Switzerlands hydraulic power, supplying electricity to 18 cantons.


The Grande Dixence dam is the highest gravity dam in the world.

The dam is situated on the relatively small Dixence river, but collects a large amount of water thanks to a system of water supply tunnels over 100 km long bringing water from other rivers and valleys. Most of the water comes from glaciers which melt during the summer. The lake is usually full of water by late September, and is allowed to empty during the winter, reaching its lowest point around April.

A first dam in the Dixence river, of the hollow-gravity type, with crest elevation at 2,241 m a.s.l., was constructed between 1929 and 1935. Between 1951 and 1961 was built the second dam, called Grande Dixence, that would flood the first. The first dam can still be seen when the water level is particularly low (see aerial photo).



Pagina creata da Luigi Ghinami email

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Ultimo aggiornamento: 4 agosto 2005