LE BARRAGE
We have two hydroelectric plants in our commune. The larger of the two is at the north end of the village, and went into full operation in 1941. It had been running for the previous few years with temporary flow from a small dam in the local river.
The dam supplying this power station was built between 1934 and 1940. It is located north of Col des Pradeaux. . In 2008, POWEO , a private electricity supplier, obtained a 30-year concession to manage and operate the dam which has been substantially renovated in the last few years as has the pipe work from the dam to the power station.



The dam is 220 meters long and 21 meters high and can hold 2 million cubic meters of water. It is fed by several small rivers, including the Ruisseau des Pradeaux and the Ruisseau Noir.

The plans for the Pradeaux dam were produced by André Coyne (1891-1960) who designed 70 dams in 14 countries, including the largest multi-vault dam on the Manicougan River in Quebec.
Another of his designs was at Malpasset in southern France, which on December 2, 1959, burst, killing 420 people. The investigation cleared Coyne of blame. Heavy rain had raised the water level by more than 5 meters, the dam was located on an unstable geological site and, crucially, the opening of the safety valves had been delayed.
Nevertheless, Coyne was deeply affected by this tragedy and died less than 7 months later on July 21, 1960.
When we arrived in the village, the dam was in bad shape and had a lot of leaks. The inner part has now been sealed, returning the dam to the condition when it was first built .


When the dam is full, the surface of the water is at an altitude slightly higher than 1260m. The water is transported from the dam to the power station by a pipe 5km long, 487 meters below at Grandrif at the northern exit of the village.