25.11.2021 - The City of Zurich and Nordostschweizerische Kraftwerke AG (today Axpo) jointly established AG Kraftwerke Wägital in the canton of Schwyz 100 years ago. It was Switzerland’s first example of a power plant established as a partnership with multiple owners. The plant continues to produce climate-friendly electricity for thousands of households today.
The flat valley floor of the inner Wägi valley was quick to draw the attention of power plant planners. After World War I, project studies began to flesh out the details. They demonstrated that the construction of a dam would be possible. Based on this finding, the City of Zurich and Nordostschweizerische Kraftwerke AG founded the AG Kraftwerke Wägital company in 1921. Construction of the ‘Schräh’ dam, an equalisation basin and two power plant centres in Rempen and Siebnen began in 1922. The final machine groups went online in 1926.
The dimensions of the Wägital power plant exceeded anything that had been built before that time. The construction work led to a large increase in tourism to the valley. The construction site itself was mainly staffed by Italian guest workers, who lived in their own residential colonies, had their own hospital and a priest was even brought in especially for the construction site.
With the construction of the dam facility, the existing Wägital road had to be rebuilt. As part of a replacement and resettlement program, some 100 buildings in the village of Innerthal were dismantled and rebuilt – including a church and schoolhouse.
In 1961, the concession for the Wägital power plant was renewed early and extensive modification and modernisation work was carried out. Even today – 100 years after its founding – the Wägital power plant is a safe and reliable pump hydropower plant. It generates roughly 128 kilowatt hours of electricity annually (including 100 million kWh from natural inflows). The plant’s concession runs until 2040.
Axpo is Switzerland's largest producer of renewable energy and an international leader in energy trading and the marketing of solar and wind power. 5000 employees combine experience and expertise with a passion for innovation. Axpo develops innovative energy solutions for its customers based on state-of-the-art technologies in 30 countries in Europe, USA and Asia.