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Solar power from the reservoir: the Lac des Toules, here still without its floating solar power system. (c) Fiesch Wikimedia Commons

Hydropower is all well and good, but what if it no longer supplies enough energy on its own? A Swiss energy company has had an electrifying idea: take photovoltaic elements, equip them with floats, and place them on a mountain reservoir. This has happened at the Lac des Toules in Valais/CH, 1,810 metres above sea level. The solar power system is to be tested there and can supply 220 households with electricity for one year. Because the sun is stronger at higher altitudes, the operators expect a 50 percent greater energy yield than in the valley. If everything runs smoothly and the system also works in winter, a third of the lake will be covered with solar panels from 2021. This could meet the electricity consumption of 6,400 households. How much energy could be generated if all the reservoirs in the Alps were equipped with floating solar panels? One thing is certain: the future in the mountains would look dazzling – in the truest sense of the word.

Source: www.bazonline.ch/wissen/technik/erste-schwimmende-solaranlage-im-gebirge-installiert/story/10830139 (de)