CNR model

In brief

CNR is France’s leading producer of exclusively renewable energy and the concessionary of the Rhone for hydroelectricity production, river transport and irrigation for agricultural use. CNR stands out thanks to its role as territorial developer.

France’s leading producer of 100 % renewable energy (water, wind, sun), CNR has conceived a distributive model based on the River Rhone in which green electricity production combines with territorial development.

The rationale of general interest

mission-cnr-production-energie-renouvelableAccording to the rationale prevailing at the inception of the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône, in 1933, the income generated from harnessing the river, a common good, should benefit the territory. This logic of general interest was reasserted in 2004 by CNR when it launched a voluntarist approach with the Missions in the General Interest (MIG). More than 500 projects have already been carried out for renewable energies, river transport, tourism development and sustainable agriculture.

An expert enterpriseéquipe-cnr-de-maintenance-300-200

With 80 years of experience of the Rhone, CNR is an expert enterprise that incorporates all the steps of value creation: study, design, operating installations, marketing production, prospecting and developing assets. CNR offers its services for managing and marketing intermittent energies to other producers  and exports its expertise in hydroelectric, river and environmental engineering all over the world.

A mostly public owned joint stock company in the public interest, CNR relies on the balance between the following public and private shareholders: local authorities, the Groupe Caisse des Dépôts and ENGIE, its leading industrial shareholder and a major player in the international energy sector.

CNR's identity card


On the same subject

Key figures


CNR produces 25% of France’s hydroelectricity

Total electricity production in 2016 (mix of hydroelectricity, wind power and solar power): 15 TWh

Turnover in 2016 : € 1,056 M

1,355 employees*

Total installed capacity: 3,553 MW

- Hydropower (38 plants): 3,035 MW

Including small hydropower plants outside the Rhone: 11.4 MW

- Wind power (33 wind farms): 457 MW

- Solar power (14 plants): 61 MWp

19 wide gauge locks between Lyon and the Mediterranean and locks for pleasure boats

Fleuve Rhône


In 1934, the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône was entrusted by the State with the concession of the most powerful French river in order to develop it and fulfil three missions for the community:

  • Electricity production
  • Navigation
  • Irrigation of agricultural lan.

The designer and operator of hydropower plants, dams and locks on the Rhone, CNR also opened up the navigable waterway between Lyon and the Mediterranean and built industrial and port sites, marinas, mooring points and recreation areas along the river.


As an active participant in energy transition, CNR plans to triple its installed capacity in wind and solar power by 2020 (an additional 600 MW in France and 300 MW in Europe). CNR is waging on innovation to strengthen its position as European leader in renewable energies. The projects with which CNR has already experimented involve electric and hydrogen powered vehicles, marine and river turbines and smart grids to optimise and store intermittent energies.

Logo du label LUCIE


  • ISO 9001 version 2008  for its activities in production, marketing and trading electricity, engineering, hydraulic safety, navigable water way management, environmental action and managing the Missions in the General Interest.
  • ISO 14001 : 2004 for its environmental management relating to all its activities in the Rhone Valley, excluding the port areas and engineering activities.