Axpo is developing a new Alp-based solar project

Nov 28, 2019 08:33 PM ET
  • The energy company is creating a 2-megawatt plant in the canton of Glarus. It will be installed on the wall of the dam at the Muttsee reservoir in the Alps. The facility is claimed to produce large amounts of power, including the winter season.
Axpo is developing a new Alp-based solar project
Image: Axpo

It is already known that mountain-based solar installations are able to generate large amounts of electrical power, even in wintertime. As a proof of the said, Swiss utility company Axpo is constructing a photovoltaic system on the dam wall in the Alps. The 2-megawatt facility will be located at nearly 2.5 km above sea level. 

The plant will be installed on an about 10 thousand m2 area. The installation will comprise approximately 6 thousand panels. The lower module array will have a 51° inclination, and the top array will be 77° inclined. The estimated annual power generation is about 2.7 gigawatt-hours.

The location is perfectly suitable for solar installations, since the south-facing Muttsee dam is connected to the power grid. The height is also expected to add to solar generation. Among other benefits the Alpine solar installation offers is the lack of fog and clouds, which means more radiation from the sun can be harvested. 

The plant is predicted to provide around 50% of its yearly power production in winter, while similar on-ground installations supply only around 25% of yearly power output in winter months. The country’s power consumption during winter months exceeds the production. It is foreseen that electricity supply in winter will get still more challenging in the nearest future, due to the decreasing number of large-scale power stations. 

A few solar installations have been developed on the Swiss Plateau lately. However, they are unable to cope with the issue of wintertime electricity supply. The Muttsee project is expected to become a huge step toward Switzerland’s Energy Strategy 2050. 

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