Axpo and renewable energies – a long tradition
Axpo is the largest Swiss producer of renewable energies, primarily with domestic hydropower and biomass, and increasingly with wind energy produced mainly in Germany and France. A look at the history indicates that the company began promoting renewable energies early on, and supported research in different technologies in this area.
In 1990, when Axpo was still known as Nordostschweizerische Kraftwerke (NOK), the company began activities with wind energy as well as photovoltaic. The three planned wind power plants on the Fläscherberg in the Canton of Grisons failed because no official construction permit was granted. However, in the same year, the first photovoltaic system with a capacity of 2.6 kW was realised on the roof of the administrative building in Baden. More would follow. In 1993, the NOK project for a solar tower on the Steckborn church was awarded the Swiss solar prize. Research and development were also promoted: The company was involved in the launch of a research centre for heat pumps and active in geothermal research.
Today, hydropower remains a key focus at Axpo. Its power plant park (owned and interests) currently includes some 60 plants. A further important pillar is biomass with over a dozen plants for processing organic waste, as well as a wood chip power plant in Domat/Ems, the largest biomass power plant in Switzerland. The proportion of wind energy has been strongly expanded in recent years, particularly with the interest in the offshore wind park Global Tech 1 and the acquisition of Volkswind, a specialist in the development and construction of wind farms. The sustainable energy future began long ago at Axpo.