Swiss power producer and energy trader Axpo Holding AG said on Thursday that the 2.2-MW alpine solar farm it had been assembling in the Glarus Alps, Switzerland, achieved full operation.
The AlpinSolar plant generated first power last autumn while still under construction, and operated over the winter. Its solar panels are mounted on the Muttsee dam 2,500 metres (8,202 ft) above sea level where they can take advantage of reflections off the snow and the position above the fog, Axpo said.
"The solar panels that were already in operation during the winter of 2021/22 achieved a very high solar output and demonstrated the value of alpine photovoltaics,"said Christian Heierli, Axpo’s Overall Project Manager of AlpinSolar.
The alpine solar farm is expected to generate three times more power than a comparable plant in the Swiss midlands, according to Axpo. Its entire production output, estimated at around 3.3 GWh per year, will be delivered to Swiss supermarket chain Denner under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
The AlpinSolar project is a joint effort of Axpo, Denner and IWB, the city of Basel's energy utility.
Alpine solar farms are rare in Switzerland. As Axpo explained, permitting regulation is the main challenge to solar farm construction outside building zones. Some improvements came this year concerning construction on facades, dams and noise protection walls, but Switzerland will need ground-mounted plants if it is to expand its renewables build-out and secure long-term energy supply, the company added.
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