EWZ Zurich Planning High-Alpine Large-Scale Solar Systems In Graubunden

ewz is pushing ahead with the expansion of solar power production: The city council has approved one-off expenses for the development of a preliminary and construction project near the Savognin ski area in Graubünden. Solar power is also to be produced in the Splügen-Tambo area in the future.

ewz can plan further high-alpine large-scale solar systems in the canton of Graubünden. With an annual production of around 93 gigawatt hours (GWh), it should be possible to supply up to 58,000 households with renewable energy in the future. ewz is thus making an important contribution to increasing security of supply and achieving the net zero targets.

These projects are also important for achieving the goals of the federal energy strategy 2050. Thanks to the "Federal Act on Urgent Measures for the Short-Term Provision of a Secure Power Supply in Winter" (amendment to the Energy Act), the prerequisites for the rapid expansion of such ground-mounted PV systems with high winter production were created.

Municipality of Surses, Savognin location

The city council has approved new one-off expenditures of 1.7 million francs for a preliminary and construction project for a high-alpine photovoltaic system (PV system) in the Val Nandro above Savognin. ewz can now plan a large-scale PV system on several areas adjacent to the Savognin ski area. The results of the preliminary and construction project then serve as the basis for the investment decision by ewz, which will probably be the responsibility of the city council.

PV modules are also planned for areas west of the Piz Curvér. The head of the Department of Industrial Operations is responsible for approving the project planning costs for these areas.

Depending on the implementation variant, up to 80 GWh of solar power could be produced annually for around 50,000 households on the areas mentioned in the municipality of Surses. The construction projects are submitted to the Surses municipality and the landowners for approval. The community, the landowners and the Savognin Bergbahnen are behind the project.

Municipality of Rheinwald, Splügen-Tambo location

Regardless of the plans in the municipality of Surses, ewz is continuing to push ahead with the expansion of high-alpine solar systems. ewz is also starting a preliminary and construction project for a high-alpine PV system on the Tanatzhöhi in the Splügen-Tambo winter sports area in the Rheinwald municipality. Depending on the implementation variant, it could produce up to 13 GWh of solar power annually for around 8,000 households. The approval of the project planning costs is the responsibility of the head of the department of industrial operations.

City Councilor Baumer: "Expand domestic production"

The large-scale solar systems in the communities of Surses and Rheinwald are planned in areas that have already been developed in terms of infrastructure. The affected areas are not located in any national or local protected area. A dual use with alpine farming and power generation is aimed for.

Michael Baumer, city councilor and head of the department of industrial operations, explains: “In order to increase energy security and at the same time achieve the net zero goals, the expansion of sustainable electricity production is key.” In addition to water and wind power, solar energy is an important pillar of sustainable power generation. City Councilor Baumer: “When it comes to PV expansion, we are concentrating on real estate in urban areas, areas across Switzerland and locations in the high Alps. The projects in the communities of Surses and Rheinwald are important building blocks for expanding domestic renewable energy production and further increasing security of supply in winter".

High alpine pioneer systems are already running at full speed

ewz already has two large high-alpine solar systems in operation. They produce solar power at the Albigna dam in Bergell and at the dam at Lago di Lei. Both plants meet expectations, especially with regard to the high electricity production in winter. Around 50% of the electricity is produced in the winter months. In addition, it is confirmed that on average 25% more energy can be produced in high alpine locations than in the Central Plateau.

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