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Uphill with solar energy

Skiflift Tenna: The solar wings are turned into the sun with cables.

Skiflift Tenna: The solar wings are turned into the sun with cables. © solarskilift.ch

The village of Tenna in the Safien valley of the Swiss canton Graubünden is working hard on a world premiere. The Skilift Tenna cooperative has decided to replace an ancient ski lift by the first solar-powered ski lift ever.
Next to the existing lift, a T-bar lift with an electric motor is being constructed; solar panels will be installed above the tow cable. These can be moved according to the direction of the sun. When it snows, the panels can be flapped up to keep them snow-free and add snow to the ski lift route. The solar lift is to be ready for the 2010/2011 ski season.
The installation will be used in winter and summer and will produce about 90'000 kWh per year, of which 22'000 are needed for the lift. The remaining power is to be sold.
Source and further information: "Südostschweiz", 15 March 2010, www.skilift-tenna.ch/ (de)