Fossau: coordination of commissioning the plant and putting it into operation.

At the end of 2018, Energie Renouvelable Vouvry (ERV) hired us to coordinate the commissioning of their new plant, the small hydropower plant on the Fossau. The plant was commissioned after the initial filling of the penstock; this was followed by test runs of the alternator turbine unit both with and without water, before then finally being put it into operation.

Thanks to our internal standard for commissioning small hydroelectric plants, we were able to agree on a list of tests to carry out in collaboration with the project manager and his representative (Stucky). We then compiled, organised and implemented a detailed plan.

The major challenges faced by HYDRO Exploitation in this project were:

  • short deadlines for synchronising the machine (criteria for obtaining the RPC)
  • tests to be carried out during periods of low water levels
  • very short mobilisation time to perform the tests during the intake of water.

Because of our experience in handling the operations of hydroelectric plants, we were able to advise the owner and establish a solid basis for future operations, namely:

  • On-call service adapted to suit small hydropower plants.
  • Setting the degree of criticality of the alarms and their classification in terms of the risks and the service of the plant.
  • Set-up of a remote visual monitoring system to reduce intervention costs.
  • Set-up of basic operating documents for the interventions (operating files), maintenance and monitoring of the facility.
  • Training and participation of the future operators during the start-up tests.

Thanks to the fact that we were local and by working together with the suppliers Andritz and Nidec, we were able to complete the commissioning of the facility in accordance with the standards and the deadlines set by the owner.

Other services/supplies provided by HYDRO Exploitation within the framework of this project:

  • Realisation of a command and control system adapted to suit the small hydropower plant “Hydroteck” (including protective equipment, voltage regulation and regulation of the turbine).
  • Installation of a power transformer and its fire safety system.
  • Installation of the safety valve and back-up system in the event of damages to the penstock.
  • Installation of mechanical equipment of the Coanda water intake and the realisation of its command and control system.

Fossau hydroelectric plant, property of Énergie Renouvelable de Vouvry, running off the water of the Fossau between Miex and Vouvry since 2018. In 2019, ERV entrusted us with the operation and maintenance of their new hydroelectric plant.


HYDRO Exploitation SA
Rue de l’Industrie 10
CP 315 - CH-1951 Sion
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HYDRO Exploitation SA
Rue de l’Industrie 10 CP 750 - CH-1951 Sion +41 (0)27 328 44 11
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