18.11.2022 | Sustainability, Innovation | Reading-time: 2 min

CKW builds first solar plant in satellite dish

Lucerne/Baden/Leuk-Stadt - The Axpo subsidiary CKW is converting decommissioned satellite dishes into solar plants. The first installation of this kind in Europe, situated at 1,000 meters above sea level, will produce green electricity to power the Leuk TDC data center.

The Axpo subsidiary and Lucerne energy provider CKW has built Europe’s first solar plant in a large satellite dish. The decommissioned satellite signal receiver is located on the premises of Leuk Teleport & Data Center (Leuk TDC) in Leuk-Stadt in the canton of Valais. According to a press release, the building permit for a second satellite dish has already been granted, with construction planned for the spring. Plans have already been drawn up to convert a third satellite dish as well.

Satellite dishes can be aligned with the sun and therefore generate more electricity than conventional solar systems. The satellite dishes from Leuk TDC also benefit from the fact that they are mostly located above the fog line at an altitude of around 1,000 meters. According to the information in the press release, one satellite dish generates around 110,000 kilowatt hours of electricity on an annual basis. This corresponds to the energy requirements of 25 households. The solar panels on the roof of the data center generate an additional 550,000 kilowatt hours per year. There are also plans for further solar installations in open spaces.

Leuk TDC benefits from solar contracting with CKW, the press release explains. This contract includes installation, maintenance and solar power at a fixed price. After the end of the contract, the solar plant belongs to Leuk TDC. “We should be aiming to implement further large-scale systems in Alpine areas”, explains Martin Schwab, CEO of CKW, in the press release. “Because these are more efficient and can even produce more electricity in winter than in summer”, he adds.