Switzerland-based energy company Axpo and power provider IWB announced that construction began on the 2.2 MW vertical PV system they have planned for the Muttsee dam in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of almost 2,500 meters above sea level.
Axpo said it secured building approval last week and that the first equipment for the project's construction, including a crane, was already brought on-site with the support of a helicopter. The company explained that the dam wall, where the PV system will be deployed, is not accessible for road transport.
“For this purpose, optimal flight times and arrival and departure corridors were established with the local municipality in order to minimize the impact on the environment and the local population,” it said in a statement. “The CO2 footprint resulting from the use of the helicopter will be compensated [for] within a few months, by the plant operation.”
Construction is expected to be finalized within four months.
Axpo secured a power purchase agreement from supermarket chain Denner for the project in January.
The energy company expects the plan to deliver around 3.3 million kWh of solar power per year, around half of which will be during the winter half of the year, when electricity tends to be scarce in Switzerland.
A total of around 6,000 solar modules will be installed on an area of 10,000 square meters.