Kummler+Matter lay cables for the Lago del Narèt reservoir in Ticino

The working conditions were anything but ideal: new supply cables were desperately needed in the cold, dark and damp tunnel at Lago del Narèt at over 2000 metres above sea level. The cable specialists at Kummler+Matter were able to deftly overcome these challenges.

Lago del Narèt is situated at 2300 metres above sea level, at the very back of the Maggia Valley in the north of Ticino. It, along with many other small lakes, feeds the Maggia river and is used to produce clean, CO2-free electricity. The lake, which is part of the Maggia power stations, acts like a natural battery: the water that accrues during the summer is stored and then used primarily in the winter to run the turbines.

In autumn 2014, the cable specialists from Kummler+Matter needed to replace all of the supply cables and fibre optic cables in the six-kilometre-long Narèt Cortino tunnel, which connects the Narèt reservoir with the Cavagnoli reservoir.

This was no simple task, as the tunnel is narrow, cold, damp and even flooded with confined groundwater in some places. Furthermore, the location is situated at over 2000 metres above sea level, which makes it hard to reach – on one side, it can only be reached by cable car. In addition, the mountainous terrain is extremely steep and is marked by significant differences in altitude.

Despite the difficult conditions, the experts at Kummler+Matter were able to successfully complete the project according to plan. They laid 18,000 metres of supply cable and 6000 metres of fibre optic cable in four pipes across a total distance of 24,000 metres, thus providing Lago del Narèt with the latest technology and ensuring that it is equipped for the coming years.