Groundbreaking pilot project in the Valais Alps: Romande Energie has implemented a floating solar system with ABB inverters and medium- and low-voltage equipment that could outperform systems in low terrain. Future reservoirs could be used twice to generate electricity. Located at 1810 metres above sea level in the municipality of Bourg-St-Pierre (VS), Lac des Toules was selected for a project and will be implemented with 2240 square metres of solar module demonstration structure. This test solar park consists of 36 floating elements anchored to the lake shore. Their number can be adjusted depending on the water level of the lake. The demonstration plant will generate 750,000 kWh of electricity annually – equivalent to the electricity consumption of 208 households. According to current research, the solar park on Lac des Toules will deliver 50 % more energy than a plant on land with the same surface area. Light reflections on the surrounding snow explained part of the extra yield, the company said. The goal is to cover 35 per cent of the lake with this system and generate 23 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power 6,400 homes.
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