Do you know the CNR or Compagnie Nationale du Rhône in France?
The CNR is an entrepreneurial adventure of general interest that began to mature in the 19th century, with the desire to develop the Rhône River for navigation, irrigation and electricity production.
History of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône
Two visionary men, Edouard Herriot and Léon Perrier, were at the origin of the creation of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) on 27 May 1933.
When the company was created, its capital was divided into four equal parts, between the city of Paris, the local authorities around the Rhône River, the PLM railway company (Paris to Lyon and the Mediterranean) and industrialists in the energy sector.
The development of the valley began with the construction of two major structures, the river port of Lyon, named after Edouard Herriot, and the Genissiat dam, named after Léon Perrier.
The Compagnie Nationale du Rhône has a concession of 27,000 hectares along the Rhône River, granted by the State until 2032.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the CNR has been the only public interest company with a board of directors and a supervisory board in France, with capital divided between the GDF Suez Group, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and the local authorities along the Rhône River.
An activity focused on energy production
In addition to developing the river for navigation and agricultural irrigation, the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône is mainly an electricity production company that generates 3% of the total electricity in France, mainly via the dams in the Rhône valley.
The CNR has been operating 19 hydroelectric power plants built along the Rhône River as well as wind farms in western France since the 21st century.
It produces renewable and low-carbon electricity well beyond its geographical valley of origin between France and Switzerland, in particular for the Rhône River electricity corridor.
This company has been totally independent of EDF since 2002 and is its main competitor in the French electricity market.
Its production amounts to an average of 14.9 billion kWh per year, a quarter of the national hydroelectricity, i.e. 3% of the French production.
- Official website of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône
- Wikipedia presentation
- 80 years of CNR history in 10 dates, press kit
- CNR electric corridor (French) in the Rhône valley
- Edouar Herriot and Léon Perrier, Wikipedia
- Changing supplier for electricity from the Rhône River (French)?