Earlier this month the town of Payerne switched on Switzerland’s largest solar installation on the La Bouverie industrial zone next to the township. It will produce an impressive 6,600 mega watts of electricity per year.
A hot bed of solar innovation, Payerne is also home to the 100%-solar-powered round-the-world aircraft Solar Impulse, which recently flew non-stop from Japan to Hawaii. The aircraft uses solar cells to charges its batteries sufficiently during the day to allow it to fly through the night. On this particular journey, the plane flew 5 days and 5 nights in a row.
- Solar Impulse lands in Hawaii (Le News 08.07.15)
The La Bouverie solar installation will generate half the town’s electricity. Around 25 square metres of the park can supply one household with all of its electricity. Covering 38,000 square metres, the park can power around 1,500 homes, nearly half of Payerne’s 3,300 households. An area twice the size would run the whole town.
Installed by Greenwatt Group E in partnership with the municipality, the park went up in 3.5 months. The panels cover nearly 4 hectares of grass, which might go to waste were it not for two diminutive breeds of sheep called Ouessant and Skudde. These sheep are small enough to roam below the panels and hoover up the grass.
Greenwatt Group E, founded in 2007, has installed a total of around 24 mega watts of solar power generation capacity along with 36 mega watts of wind, mini-hydro and biomass capacity. Its installations now power over 23,000 Swiss households.