Home Health High-altitude photovoltaics are flourishing in the Swiss Alps

High-altitude photovoltaics are flourishing in the Swiss Alps

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They transported all 4,872 photovoltaic panels with helicopters at an altitude of 2,500 meters. As well as all the equipment necessary for the construction of the most futuristic solar plant at high altitude. It was not a walk in the park: imagine a crane hanging from a helicopter and the containers where the workers who built AlpinSolar lived, the Alpine photovoltaic park with 2.2 megawatts of installed capacity, probably the highest in Europe today. Certainly of Switzerland.

The work is signed by Axpo Group and Iwb (Industrielle Werke Basel, the energy supplier of the city of Basel). More than 2,000 aircraft journeys were required. The helicopter departs from the base at 800 meters and channels itself into a gorge for about a thousand meters and then climbs to the top of Mount Tödi. No more than five minutes of flight. These journeys will continue until the plant – which is expected to generate 3.3 Gwh of clean electricity per year – goes into operation. Soon.

We are in the Canton of Glarus, where Axpo already has an important pumping water plant that insists on two dams: the Limmern and the Muttsee. Pumping system which, in addition to creating green energy from the water, also made it possible to “host” the structure of the plant which should not go into hibernation even during the long Alpine winter. Indeed, according to the engineers’ calculations, just half of those 3.3 million kilowatt hours will be generated during the long cold months, mainly thanks to the white snow that will reflect light in its own way to create energy.

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Last week, after intense work carried out in the past summer months – which challenged the pandemic, but also the crisis of the Suez Canal with the consequent slowdown in the delivery of photovoltaic modules -, the photovoltaic unit lying on about one kilometer of the dam was inaugurated. Muttsee.

The construction is due to Planeco, a subsidiary of Iwb. Which makes AlpinSolar a doubly futuristic work of 7.2 million euros whose pay back is calculated around three years (provided that the data on the card are respected and confirmed by the trends of the weather conditions, but also by the market).

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