• EWZ has announced it will start installation work on a 410 kW solar power plant on Albigna dam in Switzerland in July 2020
  • Project will be set up at around 2,100 meters above sea level and panels will be installed on the south-facing water side of the dam
  • On completion, it will generate around 500 MWh of clean power annually and almost half of its will be produced in winter

While there is still plenty of space for solar in Switzerland, where hardly any group-mount systems are installed, it seems the Alpine country is trying to check increasingly uncommon locations to put up solar panels to generate high yields. After Swiss energy utility Axpo Holding, now municipal electric utility EWZ says it is implementing a solar power plant with 410 kW capacity on the Albigna dam in Bergell.

Axpo Holding secured approval from the Canton of Glarus for a 2 MW solar system it plans to install on Muttsee Dam claiming it to be the ‘first’ large scale alpine solar power plant in the country.

Having installed a pilot project with a few PV panels in May 2018 and having witnessed higher production than expected, EWZ is now going in for what it calls the ‘first’ PV system in the high alpine region at around 2,100 meters above sea level. It will be installing the panels on the south-facing water side of the dam.

It expects the 410 kW project to generate around 500 MWh of clean power annually, enough to cater to the demand of around 210 households in Zurich. Higher irradiance at higher altitudes, reflection of solar cover and temperature control of modules helps solar panels work efficiently in high alpine region. As per EWZ, the solar power plant is expected to generate around half of the electricity in winter.

Approval from the Graubünden municipality has been secured and EWZ plans to start construction in July 2020.

“The grid connection at the Albigna dam already exists. Most of the installation work will be carried out by EWZ employees from Bergell who have already initiated the pilot project. The year-round availability of own staff also simplifies any maintenance work,” added EWZ.