CFF: Refurbishing of the control-command system at the Vernayaz and Châtelard plants

At the end of 2018, we were asked to renew the automated systems at the Vernayaz and Châtelard power plants by the Swiss Federal Railways (CFF).

The scope of the project is wide-ranging, as it concerns the modernisation of the following installations:

  • Overall automation of the Vernayaz and Châtelard II power plants, including the feed pumps at Châtelard II.
  • Automation of the secondary parts of the three turbine groups at Vernayaz.
  • Automation of the secondary parts of the two groups at Châtelard II, including a pumping group, as well as the supply of two new hydraulic assemblies.
  • The exciters for the Vernayaz groups, through the supply of new rotating diode generators.
  • Automation of peripheral installations (water intakes and basin) at the Vernayaz and Châtelard power plants.
  • Complete supervision of the facility, through the implementation of a new local SCADA system and a remote transmission link with the CFF control centre.

Assembly and cabling work has been carried out at the Vernayaz power plant and on the various water intakes at the facility over the course of this year. The first group at Vernayaz is scheduled to come into service by the second half of June, while the remaining groups will be commissioned gradually between now and mid-October. The refurbishing of the Châtelard power plant is planned for the summer of 2020.

Although the Automation & Control unit of HYDRO Exploitation has played a major role, this multidisciplinary project is also dependent on our skills in mechanical and electrical engineering.


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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