Kraftwerke Gougra AG is focusing on increasing efficiency by renovating the Vissoie power plant at a cost of CHF 35.8 million. Vissoie is the second stage of the power plant complex in Val d’Anniviers in the Swiss canton of Valais. The three current machine groups have a combined output of 45 MW and will completely be replaced after around 60 years of operation. Work on the new valves, turbines, generators and transformers will take about three years and is expected to be completed in 2025. The new machines are more efficient and can process larger quantities of water than the old ones. As a result, it will boost the output capacity by 12 MW to 57 MW and increase annual electricity production by 3 million kWh. Furthermore, the new machines have an expanded control range, which increases the application scope for grid services. Power production will only be slightly reduced by the Vissoie power station refurbishment. Thanks to careful planning, electricity can be generated in the other two stations of the power plant complex.
The Swiss Federal Office of Energy is supporting the upgrade of the Vissoie power plant with an investment of CHF 13.2 million. The federal government is thus contributing slightly more than one third of the total costs of CHF 35.8 million. Since 2018, federal investment contributions for new large-scale hydropower plants as well as for significant expansions or renovations can be requested in Switzerland. They are part of the measures earmarked in the Energy Strategy 2050 to promote large-scale hydropower plants.
The Vissoie power station is part of the Gougra hydropower complex in Val d’Anniviers. It was commissioned in 1958 and passes the water from the Mottec power station further up the valley through its turbines. The three machines of the Mottec power station were overhauled between 2020 and 2022. With a total capacity of 168 MW, the Gougra complex is the fifth largest hydropower plant in the Canton of Valais. The machines of the four power stations produce an average of 650 GWh of electricity per year. Alpiq has a 54 % shareholding in the company.