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15.11.2022 | Winter power from an innovative solar project in the Alps

Solar power from a satellite dish

Jeanette Schranz

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The solar panels in the satellite dish in the town of Leuk (Valais) are mounted at airy, dizzying heights. This pioneering project, which contributes to the continued expansion of renewables in Switzerland, was realised by the Axpo subsidiary CKW. Here are a few impressions of the spectacular installation process.

The satellite dishes belonging to Leuk Teleport and Data Centre AG have been converted into solar plants and the solar power is used for the in-house computer centre.

Installation at about 40 metres above ground is complex and definitely only for someone who has no a fear of heights.

Here are a few impressions of the installation work in the Valais town of Leuk: 

You can read what Project Manager Manuel Jossi at CKW has to say about the construction of the solar plant in the interview.

The advantages of the alpine solar plant in Valais

Alpine solar plants can make an important contribution to winter power supply because in the winter they produce three times more power than comparable plants in the midlands. Why?

During the winter, valleys are often covered in fog, while in the mountains, as in the town of Leuk, the sun is shining. In addition, satellite dishes can turn and flexibly align with the sun. Solar panels also like cold temperatures. The efficiency of solar modules is significantly higher at low temperatures.

Quite a few reasons why alpine solar plants are advantageous.

Important for the energy transition

The energy transition still needs a number of other innovative solar projects like the plant in Valais. Axpo is a pioneer in this area and is taking on a leading role in the development of solar energy. This has already been demonstrated with AlpinSolar, an Axpo pioneering project realised at the Muttsee in cooperation with IWB and Denner. In doing so, Axpo will support domestic power production and promote the development of valuable winter power. 

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