Energie Steiermark has equipped the roof surface of the main cable car valley station with photovoltaic systems for the Planai-Hochwurzen-Bahnen and will provide technical support for the system for 15 years. With an investment sum of almost 200,000 euros, a total output of almost 160 kWp was installed on the roof area in the center of Schladming.
The main focus of this joint project was to make the best possible use of the existing roof area in order to be able to sustainably generate a large part of the energy required for the valley station building of the Planai main cable car. 422 photovoltaic modules, each with 375 watts, were installed on a roof area of 800 m². On peak days, the system achieves up to 1,000 kilowatt hours, which corresponds to almost the entire electricity requirement of the office building in the warm season. Around a quarter of the consumption of the valley station can now be produced with solar energy over the entire year.
“With this system, we now have three photovoltaic systems in operation on the Planai. We have set ourselves the goal of being able to generate 10 to 15% of our total self-consumption on the Planai by 2030. The ideas for this are varied and go as far as photovoltaic islands on our storage ponds. In addition to the construction of photovoltaic systems, we are also setting an example in the field of environmental and energy management with our proven, intelligent snow management and initial test trials with electric buses.
The overall implementation was carried out by Energie Steiermarkkunden GmbH and its subsidiary E1, which also took over the entire subsidy processing and installation. With the system for the Planai Bahnen, value was placed on technically excellent components and durable technology.
"The desire of our customers - whether private households or companies - to generate electricity themselves is increasing and, fueled by the international energy crisis, is experiencing unprecedented demand. In 2021 alone, we implemented photovoltaic projects on the roofs of local companies that supply more than 6 million kilowatt hours of solar power annually. These numbers will be significantly exceeded again in 2022," said the duo of Energie Steiermark, Christian Purrer and Martin Graf. "There are currently around 25,000 private photovoltaic systems in the Energie Steiermark network. At least 20,000 more are to be added in the coming years, because the expansion of photovoltaics has to be four times higher in order to achieve the climate goals.
As one of the largest service companies in Austria, Energie Steiermark focuses on sustainable energy efficiency and innovative service offers in the areas of electricity, natural gas, heat and mobility. More than 1,900 employees dedicate their experience and competence to a fair partnership with around 600,000 customers in Germany and abroad. In production, the company relies exclusively on renewable energy from water, wind, sun and biomass. The majority owner is the province of Styria. Energie Steiermark achieved sales of 1.8 billion euros in 2021.
Energie Steiermark has set itself the goal of generating solar power for 15% of Styrian households in the coming years. The construction of two large photovoltaic parks in Bärnbach and Neudau, which will soon be feeding electricity into the grid, as well as the current construction start for a photovoltaic park in Frauental in south-west Styria, did not start until the beginning of May.
The Planai-Hochwurzen-Bahnen are a year-round leisure company. With around 1.7 million visitors a year in all business areas, the Planai is a key economic and tourism engine in the Schladming-Dachstein region. The Planai-Hochwurzen-Bahnen are among the TOP 5 in the cable car industry in Austria and employ over 400 people. Particular attention is paid to the topic of sustainability in all future projects. Numerous measures in the area of environmental and energy management have already been implemented in recent years. The goal for the company is ISO 14001 certification by 2023.