This power plant is located in the south-east Pyrénées near the spa resort of Ax-les-Thermes in the Oriège valley, also known as the Orlu valley. The power of this river has been used as far back as the Middle Ages. A small hydraulic forge was already in existence there in 1292. Its modern embodiment is the Orlu hydroelectric power plant, the third largest in Ariège, which has been operating since 1958.
The hydroelectric power plant uses water stored in Naguilhes Lake which can hold up to 42 million m3 of water. Two other small reservoirs situated on nearby mountain streams also feed the Orlu power plant.
Like all hydroelectric power plants in the Pyrénées, this one produces electricity to manage peaks in demand. It can supply the equivalent of 45,000 inhabitants.
With a tour which is both technical and fun, the Espace EDF d’Orlu visitor centre reflects the environment in which electricity is generated in Ariège. It takes visitors right to the heart of the operation of the hydroelectric power plant with a direct view of the machines room.
The tour is organised by the personnel from the Observatoire de la Montagne.
IndividualsIndividual visit: Oui
Guided tour: Oui
Times of guided tours:
Tours Monday to Sunday by prior booking.
Guided tour booking info:
Kid rates: Free of charge
Adult rates: Free of charge
GroupsRestrictions for group visits: Visite sur rendez-vous
Group visits booking info:
Please contact the Observatoire de la Montagne on +33 (0)5 61 03 06 06 to book your tour.
Tours all year round: Monday to Sunday.
Groups of 9 people maximum.
Minimum number of people:
Maximum number of people: 19
Group rate: Free of charge
School rate: Free of charge
General informationLength of the visit: 1 hour 30 minutes
Languages spoken: English / Spanish
Cash payment: No
Payment by cheque: No
Bank card payment: No
AMEX payment: No
Disabled access: No
Car parks: Yes
Coach parks: Yes