EDF chooses Rubicon technology to upgrade irrigation headworks

Electricité de France (EDF), Europe’s leading supplier of hydropower has decided to trial Rubicon technology to replace aging irrigation headworks along its Durance-Verdon Canal in Provence. EDF is Rubicon Water’s fourth client in Provence.

Commencing construction in 1955 and built over 40 years, the EDF Durance-Verdon Canal produces 6 billion kWh per annum (10% of French hydroelectric production), is capable of flows up to 8,800 cfs (250 m³/s) and also provides drinking water to the entire basin.

Importantly the canal also supplies irrigation water to all of Provence, an area that makes up approximately a third of all French irrigation. In July, the hottest month, irrigation accounts for 45% of the canal’s discharge.  Most of the turnouts for these irrigation canals were built 50 years ago and used the latest hydro-mechanical devices of the time. However they are now decaying and need replacement.

At the same time, French laws are requiring precise measurement of Durance water at all usage points and the obvious benefits of remote control of the irrigation infrastructure made the trialling of Rubicon equipment an obvious step.

At first, Rubicon will replace two sets of headworks to the Peyrolles Canal and the headworks for the Pertuis and Cadenet Canal. The success of this pilot will determine whether other headworks along the canal will be modernised in the same way.

Mr Peter Brew, Rubicon’s Global Marketing and International Sales Manager said, “Rubicon’s solution will not only help EDF to better service its customers – the irrigation districts – and save operational costs, but will also assist the irrigation districts to better manage their water resources. “

With an already-completed design to replace all regulating structures along their main canal with FlumeGates, the Peyrolles Canal irrigation district will be in a position to implement a full Network Control solution. “This will provide all the benefits of water savings and a more flexible, fair and reliable service for farmers,“ added Mr Daniel Rogier, Rubicon’s Sales Manager for France and Northern Africa.