Hydro-electric power station : compliancy of the upstream and downstream systems


Since 1894 the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes has operated a hydro-electric power station on the Gave de Pau river. The concession for the production of electricity, granted by the French State, has now expired.
The renewal of the concession requires bringing the upstream and downstream systems into compliance, which is essential for the ecological stability of the river.
Large-scale work is required and, in parallel, the Sanctuary is researching an optimisation of its electricity production capacities and potentially installing Archimedes’ screw turbines.


The hydro-electric power station covers 50% of the Sanctuary’s annual requirements in electricity. With the presence of sick and able-bodied pilgrims and a range of activities in the Sanctuary, it is essential that the electricity supply is uninterrupted. Bringing the power station into compliance should contribute to minimising its ecological impact on the Gave de Pau river, which is a highly migratory waterway and a “Natura 2000” classified site, part of the European Union network of natural and semi-natural sites with exceptional heritage of flora or fauna. This project also has the objective of maintaining and if possible, increasing the Sanctuary’s independence with regards to fluctuations in energy prices.



  • 2022 Launch of the calls for tender for the design and construction phases
  • 2022 Launch of project studies and dialogue with the French biodiversity agency
  • 2023 Construction phase lasting 4 months


€ 1 100 000 in total
Adour Garonne Water Agency: € 660 000
Donations : € 440 000


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