A big alpine solar plant in the Swiss Alps could generate about 600 GWh of clean power annually with about 42% of it in the winter, the feasibility study for the Grengiols solar project shows.
Under the plan, the solar system should be built on the southern slope of the Saflischtal valley in Valais at an altitude of between 2,000 m (6, 562 ft) and 2,500 m. The feasibility study, presented by one of the project developers Forces Motrices Valaisannes (FMV), shows that 3.4 sq km of the 6.6 sq km studied can be used for solar power generation without having to take protective measures against natural hazards.
Based on the results, a total of 910,000 solar modules could be installed with the potential to deliver 600 GWh of electricity per year which would be enough to meet the needs of about 200,000 households. About 250 GWh of the total would be supplied in winter and this is crucial for Switzerland which has sought to take measures to ensure a secure energy supply during these months. The facility would be located in an area with some 1,500 hours of sunshine per year.
In a statement published on Wednesday, FMV noted that the realisation of a project of this magnitude will depend on the legal framework conditions and the investment cost cannot be estimated at this time.
The environmental impact report for the Grengiols solar project should be available towards the end of the year.
In addition to FMV, the municipality of Grengiols as well as local energy suppliers EKZ and Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB) are also involved in the project.
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