• Axpo Holding says it has secured building permit from the Canton of Glarus and appropriate permits from other authorities for its 2 MW alpine solar power plant
  • Muttsee Solar Plant will undergo some design changes as recommended by the SLF in a study commissioned by Axpo
  • Company working on securing another lighthouse project permit from the SFOE
  • Axpo in negotiations with companies interested in purchasing solar power generated by the project on completion

Switzerland is ready to go ahead with what would be the ‘first’ large-scale alpine solar power plant in the country, after Swiss energy utility Axpo Holding AG secured building application approval from the Canton of Glarus for its planned 2 MW solar system.

The 2 MW project also cleared permits from the Glarus South municipality and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). However, it will undergo some changes as recommended by the Snow and Avalanche Research institute (SLF) in a study commissioned by Axpo into wind and snow loads.

SLF expects high snow loads in certain areas of the plant, and a lot of it collects at the base of the dam which may damage the solar modules in the long term. Hence, as suggested, Axpo will make slight adjustments to the plant and is also examining other variants of the substructure. The company did not elaborate what kind of changes will be undertaken.

Axpo said its specialists will continue to work on specific design of the plant. Once the design issues are sorted, Axpo will seek another permit, to include the plant in SFOE’s list of ‘lighthouse projects’.

Financing plans on the project are also moving forward. Axpo’s Head of Renewable Energies Christoph Sutter said negotiations are on with companies interested in procuring electricity generated by the Muttsee Solar plant.

Axpo hopes to build and commission the project in the summer of 2021, but said it will make the final decision on whether to build the plant during the course of the year.

In November 2019, Axpo announced its plans to build this 2 MW project on the Muttsee dam at the Limmern pumped storage plant expecting it to generate about half of its power production during the winter in times of power shortage (see Swiss Utility To Build Vertical Solar Plant On Dam).