Alpine solar for ski areas


Swiss energy supplier Axpo announced it is planning a 10 MW ground-mounted photovoltaic plant in the Disentis ski area in the Canton of Grisons, Switzerland.

The company said the Ovra Solara Magriel project will be located on an 80,000 m2 surface at an altitude of 2,100 m. “The mountain railway to the Disentis ski area can meet their annual electricity requirements for operation entirely with local solar power,” Axpo said in a statement. “The utilization of the existing infrastructure, such as the power grid, simplifies the construction of the solar plant.”

Construction on the facility is scheduled for the spring of 2024, with completion being planned for the fall of 2026. ” Another 10 MW ground-mounted plant will be built as of the fall of 2025 in the town of Tujetsch near the Nalps reservoir in the Canton of Grisons,” the company added.

Axpo commissioned its first alpine PV project in September, a 2.2 MW PV system on the Muttsee Dam, at an altitude of almost 2,500 meters above sea level.

The Swiss energy company secured a power purchase agreement from supermarket chain Denner for the project in January 2022. The deal was the first bilateral agreement for an unsubsidized solar project in Switzerland.

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In September 2022, Switzerland made amendments to its Energy Act focusing on urgent measures to secure power supply in winter. The new federal law aims to enable and facilitate the construction of large-scale ground-mounted PV systems in the Swiss Alps, 1,500 meters or higher above sea level.

The Swiss government is expected to provide subsidies for up to 60% of the installation costs of eligible projects. To classify for the subsidy, the projects must show a winter yield of at least 500 kWh/kW.

The Swiss government aims to reach 2 TWh of alpine PV production with the incentive scheme.

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