With its 46 dams, Valais produces more than a quarter of the hydroelectric power consumed in Switzerland. Benefiting from more than 300 days of sunshine per year, the canton encourages the installation of photovoltaic panels. Alongside solar energy, there are also wind power and biomass - energy produced from the breakdown of organic materials. These clean, sustainable and efficient resources allow the canton to control its energy consumption.
Studer Innotec’s mission is to provide reliable and sustainable energy. Each year, the company manufactures more than 20,000 inverters at its factory in Sion. They are developed mainly for isolated sites, but also for embedded systems (such as cars, boats, aircraft), for industry and for emergency power supplies. Studer Innotec offers more than 60 models of inverters, inverters/chargers and MPPT load controllers to meet its customers’ needs throughout the world.
One example of where Studer Innotec’s inverters are used is for the emergency supply of electricity for cashier desks and the computer network at the football stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Providing heating with local and renewable material; this is the motto of Valpellets, which produces and sells some 10,000 tonnes per year of wood pellets at its production site in Uvrier. The company harnesses the energy potential of the region’s forests to create a clean heating solution. The chips and sawdust are dried, ground and then pressed at the central Valais waste treatment plant (UTO), which reuses the heat diffused in the process to supply district heating to consumers.
Valpellets’ annual production capacity equates to the pellet consumption of 1,000 households, 10 schools and 2 district heating plants.
Mini hydroelectric power stations
Generating hydroelectricity does not necessarily require large infrastructure. The Pelton turbines manufactured by the Jacquier-Luisier mechanical workshop prove that it is possible to produce energy from small rivers or from existing drinking water systems. Several Valais municipalities use these mini-hydroelectric power stations on rivers generating small or medium hydraulic head. The quality of these machines guarantees an energy yield of 90%. All are made-tomeasure in the workshop in Evionnaz and offer ready-to-go solutions.
Mini-hydroelectric power plants from 80 kW to 2000 kW can be installed in municipalities to produce electricity that is both local and sustainable.
The canton of Valais owns the majority of FMV SA, whose aim is to promote the use of hydroelectricity produced by the public authorities in Valais. The company is active in the production of hydroelectricity, supraregional distribution and electricity trading. FMV’s production facilities, which are spread throughout the canton, generate about 1 billion kWh of clean, renewable and indigenous energy annually, which covers about one third of the electricity consumption in Valais. As a key player in the industry, FMV plays a central role in the canton’s hydraulic power strategy.
FMV produces enough energy each year to power around 250,000 standard households.
Did you know?
For more than 40 years, Valais has been manufacturing its own solar thermal collectors with Energie Solaire in Sierre.