- BKW and Bern Airport in Switzerland are planning the country’s ‘largest’ open-space solar power plant
- It will an annual installed capacity of 35 MW DC and generate 35 GWh with 30% during winters
- It will be located near existing grid infrastructure, won’t need new overhead lines and the land can be used for agricultural purposes
Bern Airport in Switzerland is to host the country’s Largest open-space solar power plant with 35 MW DC capacity, to be built by local electricity utility BKW AG, on the current grass runways and agricultural land for a total investment worth CHF 30 million.
The BelpmoosSolar project is likely to generate up to 35 GWh of clean electricity annually with an estimated 63,174 modules installed. Close to 30% or 10 GWh of solar power is likely to be generated during winters, according to a feasibility test conducted by the project partners.
Since the project will be located near existing grid infrastructure, it won’t cost much as no new overhead lines will be required for grid connection, they add.
Land zeroed in on for the facility can be used to produce berry crops and/or grazing sheep ensuring its dual use.
“This solar project is an example of how energy and transport infrastructure can coexist in an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable way and make an important contribution to an emission-free economy,” said Margarita Aleksieva, Head of Wind & Solar Business Unit at BKW.
BKW will form a joint venture with the Bern Airport with a 51:49 stake. BKW already is one of the 2 largest shareholders in Flughafen Bern AG or Bern Airport. The project is yet to secure official green signal, but the authorities are ‘reacting positively’ to it, they claimed. More information about the project is available on a dedicated website.
The Swiss government has agreed to give priority to renewable energy installations vis-à-vis other interests to ensure sufficient electricity and security of supply as the country targets a minimum of 35 TWh of annual renewable energy production by 2035 (see Switzerland Bats For 45 TWh RE Production In 2050). End of 2022, Switzerland announced CHF 600 million in subsidies for solar PV projects to boost installations in 2023 (see Switzerland Promising Subsidies For New Solar In 2023 & Beyond).