Austria’s Pitztal glacier, the country’s highest ski area, has built a solar farm 3,000m up which will begin operation in the next few weeks.
The system, which was tested with a smaller facility last winter, will generate approximately 1,450,000kWh of power annually, energy equivalent to the needs of 380 to 420 households per year and representing around a third of the ski centre’s energy requirements.
The farm covers 5800m² and has solar panels suspended on a steel construction on 7 rows that are 1,500m long in total, tilted to maximise exposure to sunlight and automatically tip off snowfall. It also works much more effectively than solar farms closer to sea level.
“I hope more skiing areas will produce their energy themselves,” said Florian Jamschek of the Ehoch2 company behind the new solar farm.
The Pitztal Glacier also has one of Austria’s longest ski seasons and is also scheduled to open this weekend.