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Alpiq mounts a photovoltaic system on Aare power station

Since July 2012, in addition to hydro power the Ruppoldingen power station also uses solar energy for the ecological generation of electricity. Since Alpiq has installed a photovoltaic system on the roof with an output of 111 kilowatts (kW).

The Ruppoldingen hydroelectric power station, which belongs to Alpiq Hydro Aare AG, is regarded as a textbook example of the environmentally friendly use of hydro power. On the roof of the power station, which lies on the river Aare between the towns of Aarburg and Boningen, the operator has mounted a total of 437 solar modules covering an area of 715 square metres. The crystalline solar cells are characterised by a long service life and a high energy yield. The photovoltaic system has an output of 111 kilowatts (kW) and generates around 100,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electrical energy per year. This equates to the annual electricity consumption of 22 households. The environmentally friendly generated electricity is purchased by Aare Energie AG (a.en) at normal market conditions, is fed into the regional grid and added to the new renewable energy mix for customers in the town of Olten.

Hydroelectric power station offers ideal prerequisites The saw-tooth roof, with its series of 'teeth' and their southern exposure, is ideally suited for using solar energy. The Alpiq InTec AG branch office in Olten was able to integrate the system almost invisibly into the roof structure. Alpiq InTec supplied a turn-key solar system and required just three months from the placing of the order to system commissioning.

Power station underscores its image as an “ecological pearl” on the Aare Already during the construction of the power station from 1996 to 2000, Alpiq invested around 20 million Swiss francs in more than 300 ecological compensation and substitution measures. Since it was commissioned in 2000, the electricity generation has been certified by the TÜV SÜD. At the beginning of 2010, the Association for Environmentally Sound Energy (VUE) awarded the power station the 'naturemade star' certificate.

The two bulb turbines of the hydroelectric power station have an output of 23 megawatts (MW) and generate an annual average of 115 million kWh of electrical energy, which equates to around 25,000 households. With the use of solar energy, the Ruppoldingen power station has taken a further step in pursuing the ecological generation of electricity.