Today in Splügen, canton Graubünden, representatives of the building owner Kraftwerk Tambobach AG, the municipality of Splügen, the canton of Graubünden as well as contractors and environmental organisations celebrated the start of construction on Splügen small hydroelectric power station. A ground-breaking ceremony marked the official start to the 18-month construction period, following which the power station will go into operation in the autumn of 2012. Renato Sturani, responsible for the New Renewable Energies Division at Alpiq, praised the good collaboration with the municipality and canton, adding: "We are of course particularly pleased that there were no objections to the scheme, so that the planning and permit procedure remained on schedule." That, said Sturani, speaks volumes for the plant's good technical and environmental design. Cantonal President Dr. Martin Schmid said that this power station project based on partnership was precisely in line with the canton's objectives of harnessing more energy from hydro power, the most important renewable energy in Graubünden. Said Schmid, "This project is a win-win situation for everyone."
Construction carried out by local companies Kraftwerk Tambobach AG, in which Alpiq EcoPower AG holds a 70 percent stake and the municipality of Splügen 30 percent, is investing around CHF 9 million in the construction. Regional companies have been contracted to carry out CHF 5.5 million worth of construction work. The project plans to build a water catchment by the River Tambo at 1,890 meters above sea level. From there, a 1.8 kilometer long pressure line will transport the flow water to the power station near national highway A13. The small hydroelectric power station's 1.8-MW turbine will generate around 7 million Kilowatt hours of electricity a year: sufficient to supply around 1,400 households. Alpiq's activities in canton Graubünden are not limited to hydro power: with a staff of around 300, including 80 trainees, it is also a successful provider of energy services.