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Welcome to Franches-Montagnes

Travelling remains difficult at the moment, especially if you want to cross your country’s borders. Throughout summer, we will be offering you a breath of fresh air as we take you through regions that are home to facilities owned by Alpiq or its partners. Perhaps you will be inspired to discover these places for yourself the next time you are planning an outing.

The Jura mountain ridges are especially well-suited for wind turbines. Alpiq owns three such turbines, located in the municipality of Muriaux. Each turbine generates 2.3 MW, and with an average annual production of 13.5 GWh, they surpass the rates of production predicted at the time of wind farm’s design. The Peuchapatte wind farm was designed to limit the turbines’ impact on local residents and the environment. This was achieved by building a limited number of powerful turbines. Several studies were undertaken in the area, looking for example at birds, bats, airwaves, and noise, and have shown that such a wind farm has only a minimal impact.

Wind energy attracts both critics and strong advocates. Raynald Golay, Senior Project Manager in the RES Switzerland team, manages the Peuchapatte wind farm and champions this renewable energy on a daily basis. And not just in his work life; he also makes the most of his holidays by heading to the Franches-Montagnes. “This region is wonderful and still very untouched. It’s quiet and tranquil – the antithesis of the city. You have the time to slow down. Its residents have a very distinct character but are so welcoming. I think the turbines, with their large scale and slow pace, fit perfectly into this landscape and mentality.”

 

With its large pastures dotted with fir trees, Franches-Montagnes is an ideal destination for nature lovers. “It’s a paradise for hikers and mountain bikers. It’s also where you can discover Switzerland’s only indigenous horse breed, the ‘Franches-Montagnes’ or ‘Freiberger’. Saddle up and trot through the green landscape!” recommends Raynald Golay.

But that’s not all: “At the base of a turbine, between the wind farms of Peuchapatte, Saint Brais, and Mont-Crosin a little further along: this is the perfect place to get a sense of how wind energy works in real life,” he adds. In the next few months, we’re opening an educational trail at Peuchapatte. This original and appealing experience helps you gain a better understanding of wind as a renewable energy source.

Jura’s Tourism Office offers several packages to discover the region via its website and also via its “Franches-Montagnes” app:

  • Saignelégier campsite, which has a large area where you can pitch up wherever you like. You can even make a camp fire in front of your tent. A real treat in the middle of nature!

  • The Franches-Montagnes riding stables offers pony and horse rides in the area. Its small restaurant, Chez Sandrine, might not look like much, but the home cooking is delicious!

  • A meander through the amazing medieval city of Saint-Ursanne