Tenders for solar plants on noise barriers and rest areas now open
The Swiss Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) has started the application procedure for construction contracts to build photovoltaic plants on noise barriers along national roads. FEDRO is making the available space available to project planners free of charge. However, they must plan, finance, build, connect, operate and maintain the installations themselves.
They also have to market the electricity themselves. Either they find a local consumer with whom they conclude an electricity supply contract, or they feed the electricity into the grid and receive the return tariff of the respective grid operator. Interested project developers can still submit their applications until 24 February 2023.
Plants must be built within three years
About 350 noise barriers and 100 rest areas are available for construction. These objects will be grouped into 15 lots for which project developers can apply. Once a lot has been allocated to a project developer, the latter signs a reservation agreement with FEDRO with a term of three years. The solar installations must be planned and built within this period.
55 gigawatt hours possible on noise barriers
The procedure is based on a decision of the Federal Council of 17 August 2022. At that time, parliament had decided that areas along national roads should be used for the construction of green power plants. This also applies to verges as well as wind power and geothermal plants.
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The current application procedure marks the start of the first round of measures contained in this decision. With the construction of the plants, Bern wants to raise the potential for green electricity production that is possible on these areas. The photovoltaic plants on the noise barriers alone can supply 55 gigawatt hours per year, according to the FEDRO.
Further details and the lots that are available can be found on the FEDRO website (in German, French and Italian). (su/mfo)