Hautes-Pyrénées: 2023 marks 30 years of partnership between the Pyrenees National Park and EDF

the essential
The Pyrenees National Park and EDF Hydro will celebrate 30 years of collaboration throughout the year. It will be punctuated by meetings between the teams and appointments with the public.

EDF Hydro and the Pyrenees National Park, two major players in the region, are celebrating the 30th this yearAnd anniversary of their collaboration. “It is a somewhat special, loyal and lasting partnership. It is the only partnership that has such a long duration. This is possible because we share the same values ​​for the benefit of the environment… The cement of this partnership is the close relationship between our two teams”, underlines Philippe Reffay, from the water environment department of EDF Hydro sud-west .
Arnaud David, deputy director of the PNP, recalls that the common history of the PNP and the EDF began in 1992. He specifies that the first agreement provided in particular for the gradual undergrounding of electricity grids, the abolition of hydroelectric protection against birds. Initially focused on the central area of ​​the PNP, the partnership has been extended to the associative area.
The teams established mutual communication. Thus, in the field, the PNP agents inform those of EDF of the presence of emblematic species near the EDF installations: desman, Bonnal lizard, etc. In reciprocation, PNP agents visit EDF power plants, dams and construction sites to better understand the challenges and functioning of hydroelectric operations.
Through the “educational passport” system, they carry out joint actions to raise environmental awareness among students. The PNP and EDF communicate with the public through television reports, specialized publications, etc. As part of the “Mountains for all” programme, EDF has participated in particular in the creation of the Technical Interpretive Trail.

New version of ibex

Regarding the reintroduction of the ibex, Arnaud David recalls that EDF participated in the purchase of individuals. He indicates that a new release of 12 individuals will take place in Gèdre this summer, with the aim of genetic diversification and consolidation of the population which is progressing well in the area. The catalog of joint actions, for 30 years, is long, and the partnership agreement has evolved
“30 years is something to celebrate. Throughout the year, we will organize discussion days, by valley, between our teams. In the direction of the public, we will offer outings and conferences in the houses of the PNP ”, underlines François Tissier, director of EDF Hydro Adour and gaves. In particular, there will be an information day on large predators and an awareness day for the beneficiaries of the national Esprit parc label.
“These exchanges between our teams will feed into our future partnership which will be sealed at the end of the year. It will take into account the new challenges related to global warming, in particular the scarcity of water resources,” indicate Arnaud David and Hervé Daubeuf, EDF’s development manager.

Normal dams

Despite a very dry winter, François Tissier, director of EDF Hydro Adour and gaves, indicates that the filling level of the dams is “almost normal. In anticipation of winter, in relation to the challenges of the electricity system, we had carefully managed our water during the summer and autumn. This winter we have continued to preserve our water supply… What matters to us is the water that will arrive: rain or snow at high altitudes. However, we will have little water from the snow at high altitudes because we have little snow. So, let’s go back to a strategy to save water resources since we expect an equally complicated winter 23/24 from the point of view of the electrical system issue. The situation gets complicated for us, knowing that we must also be able to carry out our role of supporting the courses for the summer period, especially in the Garonne area”. The scarcity of water resources has generated a drop “of 20% in the production of hydroelectric energy in 2022″, recalls Philippe Reffay. “Perhaps we too have produced less because, as François said, we have preserved this resource. But there can be considerable variability, from year to year, depending on the hydrological situation”. François Tissier points out that there are “two types of hydroelectric energy: in the plains, where, generally, we will swirl when there is water. As for hydroelectric energy in the mountains, we have reserves of We store hydroelectric energy in the form of water at high altitudes and over which we have control to manage this future electricity over time and be able to save it, use it when there is a crisis, with this problem of always being able to maintain the balance of the electricity system”.

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