Axpo goes on Swiss solar offensive, says more alpine projects coming
The AlpinSolar plant in the Glarus Alps, Switzerland. Image source: Axpo (handout)
November 22 (Renewables Now) - Swiss utility Axpo Holding AG said on Tuesday that it is launching a “solar offensive” in native Switzerland to reach over 1.2 GW of solar power capacity by 2030, up from today’s 0.2 GW.
The total investment in the expansion is estimated at around CHF 1.5 billion (USD 1.57bn/EUR 1.53bn).
The initiative will see the company install solar panels in residential areas, but will also mark its return to the Swiss Alps to build more alpine solar farms either on existing infrastructure or on the ground.
The 2.2-MW AlpinSolar plant in the Glarus Alps, which Axpo built in partnership with energy supplier IWB, is already generating power and is expected to remain productive in wintertime as its sits above the fog line.
Axpo said that it has more alpine projects coming, the first one being the 10-MWp NalpSolar. The NalpSolar plant will installed on the ground next to the Nalps reservoir in the Canton of Grisons. Its construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2024, with commissioning seen a year later.
Below the mountain range, Axpo’s unit CKW is currently installing two solar plants on buildings each day, the utility said.
What fuelled Axpo’s ambition was the Swiss parliament’s approval of measures aimed at making solar panel installations on some new buildings mandatory and fast-tracking alpine solar projects. While Axpo welcomed the measures, the company on Tuesday again highlighted their temporary nature and called for a more viable framework for the renewables expansion that will remain important beyond the year 2025.
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