ENGIE has gained national and international recognition in the development and responsible operation of hydroelectric plants.


Lacs et barrages : Le lac de Bious-Artigues




Hydroelectricity or the power of water

Hydroelectric power plants generate electricity using the kinetic and potential energy of water. The water drives turbines that in turn drive generators which convert mechanical energy into electricity.

ENGIE operates three main categories of hydroelectric power plants:


  • Run-of-the-river plants, which use continuous river flow and supply base-load energy at all times.
  • Conventional power plants with reservoirs and dams: water is stored in reservoirs, constituting an energy source that is guaranteed to be available and is called upon at times of consumption peaks. Also called high-head power plants, they are located in mountains. 
  • Pumped storage power stations, which operate two water reservoirs at different levels. In times of high demand, pumped storage power stations allow water to be turbined and pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir. They play an important role in providing all types of support to the grid, especially in countries without many power plants with large reservoirs.


Renewable and storable energy 


Countries with rich hydroelectric resources are the first to meet their electricity needs with renewable electricity production.

Hydropower promotes the growth of intermittent renewable energies such as wind and solar, thanks to its flexibility in terms of dispatching* and storage, meeting demand when these variable sources are not available and allowing energy storage when there is a surplus.

Hydroelectric power plants are flexible and reliable and they have a long service life.

* Management of energy distribution on power grids to keep supply and demand in balance


Clean energy with low greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectricity are mainly due to the use of cement (depending on the type of cement and its production method) and, in the form of methane, during the first years of filling reservoirs in tropical areas. These emissions are negligible.

ENGIE has operations in 9 countries with an installed hydropower capacity of more than 20 GW.






Hydroelectric power is the second largest source of electricity production in France. ENGIE, the second largest national producer, produces 25% of the country's hydropower, contributing to the promotion of this type of renewable energy working in conjunction with local authorities and regional businesses and participating in regional development benefiting the population, in conjunction with local authorities and regional businesses, through its two subsidiaries, Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) and La Société Hydro Electrique du Midi (SHEM).

  • CNR operates hydroelectric facilities on the Rhône, mainly run-of-river plants.
  • SHEM operates hydroelectric installations on the Lot and Dordogne rivers in the Pyrenees, mainly reservoir power stations.




ENGIE, together with its consortium partners Crédit Agricole Assurances and Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers, have acquired the second largest hydroelectric portfolio of Portugal, with a generation capacity of 1.7 GW a concession term of 45 years. This hydroelectric portfolio includes three newly commissioned pump storage units along with three recently repowered run-of-river plants. ENGIE, as the industrial partner for the consortium, will operate and maintain the hydroelectric portfolio and also provide energy management services.



ENGIE is the country's leading independent producer of electricity, operating 61 plants, including 12 hydroelectric plants. These major projects are backed up by initiatives and projects carried out in close collaboration with local associations and structures. 

  • The Estreito hydroelectric plant, which has an installed capacity of 1,087 MW, produces enough electricity to supply power to 4 million residents. 
  • The run-of-the-river Jirau dam, which forms part of the Madeira River complex, has a capacity of de 3,450 MW. It makes it possible to meet the country’s growing demand for energy with the guarantee of a secure supply.
  • The Jaguara and Miranda plants (832 MW), located in Minas Gerais State, were the most recent acquisition of ENGIE in Brazil. Both hydro were bought in a renew auction of the plants in 2017. Previously the hydros use to belong to CEMIG.



ENGIE Energía Perú operates two hydroelectric plants: Yuncán (with a nominal capacity of 136.5 MW) and Quitaracsa (with a total nominal capacity of 118 MW). 



ENGIE operates 3 hydroelectric power plants: Tanzmühle, Reisach and Trausnitz.

  • Tanzmühle is a combination of a pumped storage power station and a run-of-the-river facility along the Pfreimd River. The run-of-the-river component has a nominal capacity of 3.3 MW, while the pumped storage installation is scaled to generate 31 MW in production and 25 MW in pumping.
  • The Reisach pumped storage power station has a nominal capacity of 106 MW.
  • The Trausnitz run-of-the-river plant has a nominal capacity of 1.8 MW.



ENGIE led the construction of the Laja hydroelectric plant, the first run-of-the-river power plant in Chile, on the lower section of the Laja River. A system of turbines installed at the foot of the dam avoids the need to divert the river and minimizes the dam’s environmental impact. This project is one-of-a-kind in Chile.



The Europe Generation BU operates the Coo-Trois-Ponts pumped storage power station, a facility with an installed capacity of 1,164 MW located in the Ardennes, near the Coo Waterfall.


United Kingdom 

First Hydro Company, a subsidiary of ENGIE, is one of the most successful electricity generators in the UK with an installed capacity of 2,088 MW. It manages and operates the Dinorwig and Festiniog pumped storage power stations, located in the Snowdonia region of Wales.