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Solar power plant to be built on Lake Lei dam

Lake Lei is located almost entirely on Italian territory. Only the dam is on Swiss soil. © Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

A large alpine solar power plant is to be installed on the dam wall of Lake Lei near Ferrera in southeastern Switzerland. The 1,800 square-metre plant is being built by the Zurich Electricity Company.

Located at an altitude of 1,930 metres, the plant will comprise more than 1,000 solar units with a total output of 350 kilowatts, equivalent to the consumption of 160 households. The construction costs are estimated at CHF800,000 ($850,000). Initial operation is scheduled for the end of September.

Lake Lei is located almost entirely on Italian territory. Only the dam, which has a height of 141 metres, is located on Swiss soil.

This is the second large-scale solar installation built by the Zurich Electricity Company on a dam. The other was commissioned in 2020 on the Albigna dam, also in canton Graubünden.

The largest alpine solar power plant in Switzerland is on the Lake Mutt dam in canton Glarus. It covers an area of 10,000 square metres and has a capacity of 2.2 megawatts.

The first photovoltaic plant in Europe was commissioned in 1982 near Lugano in southern Switzerland. The TISO (Ticino Solare) is still in operation and has an output of 10 kilowatts.

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