Axpo discontinues planned alpine solar project in Glarus Süd

13.03.2024 Following extensive investigations, Axpo has decided to discontinue its planned solar project in Glarus Süd. The reasons behind this decision are natural hazards, limited environmental compatibility and low energy yield. Axpo and the municipality of Glarus Süd regret this decision. Axpo will continue to invest in sustainable forms of energy and drive its Alpine projects forward.

Axpo planned to construct an alpine ground-mounted plant with an output of 10 MWp in the municipality of Glarus Süd. The solar plant was to be installed on an area of around 120,000 square metres in an alpine environment in the Friiteren region and was expected to produce around 13 GWh of electricity annually, equal to the electricity consumption of over 3,000 households. The required land would have remained usable as pasture after construction. This plant would have taken advantage of the excellent levels of solar radiation at around 1,500 metres above sea level to supply essential electricity, especially during the winter months.

Project discontinued after extensive review

Axpo has conducted a thorough review of the project in recent months, which has revealed major challenges in the project. 

The planned solar plant in the Friiteren region would have been jeopardised by avalanches and rockfall. Construction would have been hampered by expensive additional protective measures and would only have been possible under strict conditions. In addition, the extensive environmental impact assessment indicated a possible negative impact on the habitats of endangered bird species. Calculations also showed that, in light of the environmental and landscape protection and associated loss of coverage, the site wouldn’t have produced enough electricity overall. Under these restrictions, the project would not have met the provisions of the Solar Express. Unfortunately, the combination of these factors means that the project cannot be pursued further.

Oliver Hugi, Head of Solar Switzerland: “We regret that we are unable to pursue the planned solar project in Glarus Süd. The extensive investigations, in particular with regard to natural hazards, environmental compatibility and energy yield, led us to this step. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the municipality of Glarus Süd and the Glarus Süd technical operations team for their local support.”

Councillor Stefan Maduz, Head of the Business and Finance Department of the municipality of Glarus Süd, also commented on the situation: “The municipal council regrets that the solar project has been discontinued. It would have made a significant contribution to the regional energy supply. This experience reveals that expanding renewable energy and advancing the energy transition comes with major hurdles. We would like to thank the Axpo Solar team and everyone involved in the project for their huge commitment and the friendly cooperation.” 

Still committed to renewable energies

Despite this decision, Axpo has reaffirmed its commitment to renewable energies and its intention to push forward with its solar campaign. Axpo has already received approval from the electorate in other municipalities such as Tujetsch and Disentis. It is reviewing further projects and remains confident that it will be able to continue investing in renewable energies and carrying out projects in cooperation with local municipalities in the future.

Axpo Holding AG

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