Roselend (1960)

Published on 30 January 2008
Roselend in summer...
Roselend in summer...
(R.R Coyne & Bellier)
... ... and snow covered
... ... and snow covered
(R.R Coyne & Bellier)

 

Roselend Dam, a very complex structure built in 1960 in the very center of the Alps.

More than any other structure in the industrial world, a dam reservoir generates a transformation of the landscape, completely remodelling it.
The installation built at Roselend, in Savoy, is a magnificent example of the technical and aesthetic possibilities of these kinds of constructions.

The improbable meeting of an arch and a buttress dam, the Roselend dam, at 150 metres high, was filled in 1960. It marks the ultimate step in using mountain lakes to produce electricity, compensating for weak flow rates by the height of the head.

The reservoir, located at an altitude of 1,557 m, has a capacity of 187 million cubic metres. It is supplied by diverting a number of mountain streams, with the help of a hundred or so kilometres of galleries.

With two other structures at La Gittaz and Saint-Guérin, Roselend supplies the underground power station of La Bathie. This develops 500 MW of power under 1,200 metres of head fall.