Swisscom info and facts
Berne, 19 October 2017
With an above-average number of hours of sunshine compared to the rest of Switzerland – around 12% more – St. Chrischona near Basel is the ideal location for a photovoltaic system. To install such a new system, a total of 435 photovoltaic modules were mounted on the tower, covering an area of 710 m2. The solar panels were vertically attached in 75-metre sections and mounted in free suspension using rope as opposed to a scaffold.
The annual production of the new system is estimated at around 118,000 kilowatt hours, which corresponds to the energy required by approximately 30 average households in Switzerland in one year. The transmitter site directly sources the solar energy generated as domestic electricity and any surplus is fed into the electrical network of Industrielle Werke Basel.
Swisscom has relied on renewable domestic energy to cover all of its power needs since 2010 and is simultaneously the largest consumer of solar power in Switzerland. It uses the electricity generated from its 47 own solar installations to supply all of its standard workstations (PCs and laptops) and part of its server. This year, an additional 250 kWP*) of power has been generated by self-installed photovoltaic systems thanks to five further systems. Two more systems are scheduled to be deployed by the end of the year (+55 kWp) to give an annual total of 305 kWp.
The expected total of 1,950 kWP by the end of the year will mean that Swisscom is potentially able to produce a fifth more energy than last year, corresponding to the consumption of around 450 Swiss households. These efforts serve Swisscom’s goal of further increasing its energy efficiency by 35% between 2016 and 2020.
The St. Chrischona radio tower is important for radio broadcasting in Northwestern Switzerland and neighbouring Baden-Württemberg. Its favourable topography allows Swisscom Broadcast to supply these regions with many of their corresponding radio and TV programmes from this location. Groups can visit the 250-metre-high tower as part of a guided tour by registering in advance. Swisscom Broadcast also rents out a meeting room in the tower at a height of 150 metres. A 360-degree webcam offers a glimpse of the view from the meeting room.
*) kWp: kilowatt peak, i.e. the electrical power output under standard test conditions in a laboratory