In 1934, the government entrusted the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) with the concession to exploit the Rhone in order to fulfil three main missions: produce electricity by harnessing the river’s current, permit the navigation of boats on the river, and irrigate/provide water for the surrounding agricultural land.
Therefore, over the years, CNR has built 19 sites on the Rhone to produce electricity. It made the river a navigable waterway from Lyon to Marseille with, in particular the construction of 14 locks (kinds of lifts for boats) that allow skippers to pass by the hydropower plants.
It is now France’s leading producer of 100% renewable electricity: all the electricity is generated from natural resources (water, wind and the sun). A key actor in the combat against climate change, CNR innovates daily in renewable energies, with and at the service of the territories crossed by the Rhone.