The Pitztal glacier in Austria’s Tirol region is installing a huge solar array in order to become 100% green energy powered.
Austria’s highest ski area, with slopes reaching 3440m, will build Europe’s highest photovoltaic station at 2,800m. It should supply all the power needed for the area’s power requirements for lifts, restaurants and other needs. A test centre is being installed this winter with the aim of building the full facility next summer.
The solar array, which will cost an estimated €2.5m to install, will feature 2,500 modules with a gross collector area of over 400m² and produce around 850,000 kWh/year – enough to match the centre’s power needs.
The power production from the panels at this altitude is 40% higher than in the valley.
The Pitztal Glacier has one of Europe’s longest ski seasons, from mid-September to mid-May, and is also one of only two areas in the world that uses a unique snowmaking system from an Israeli company which can produce snow at positive temperatures which the centre uses to make fresh snow on its glacier when it opens in late summer each year.