Grande Dixence: maintenance progressing quickly

27 January 2023

Almost 60 years after the commissioning of the Grande Dixence hydropower plant, extensive renovation and maintenance work is carried out along the entire pressure pipe between the Lake Dix reservoir and the Rhône Valley. After more than six years of work, the Fionnay and Nendaz hydropower plants and the pressure pipe connecting both plants to the Lake Dix reservoir are partially operational again nine months earlier than originally planned. This means that the plant will come back onstream at a time when Switzerland has a particularly pressing need for power. Grande Dixence SA and its shareholders are investing a total of CHF 240 million.


The extensive renovation of the Grande Dixence hydropower plant.


New fish pass at the Flumenthal hydropower plant 

16 February 2023

Alpiq is building a completely new fish pass at the Flumenthal hydropower plant in the Canton of Solothurn. In future, it will meet all the fish migration requirements for the Aare river. As the operator of the hydropower plant, Alpiq Hydro Aare AG is investing a total of CHF 10.5 million in the new 480-metre-long bypass watercourse. By doing so, the company is renovating the fish pass that has been in place since 1970 as it is no longer fit for the purpose of fish migration. The new, state-of-the-art fish pass guarantees the upstream migration of fish, and it is expected to become operational in 2024.


Construction of the new fish pass at the Flumenthal hydropower plant.


Alpiq records strong operating result and high positive cash flow 

23 February 2023

Alpiq achieves a strong operating result in the extremely turbulent environment of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA increases to CHF 473 million, 51% higher than the previous year. Alpiq’s decisive action and targeted measures has enabled it to minimise liquidity risks and overcome the challenges of the volatile energy market using its own resources. Alpiq has been able to make a significant contribution to the security of supply in Switzerland and Europe by managing its highly flexible and efficient production facilities in a proactive manner. Over the coming years, Alpiq and partners aim to invest over CHF 1 billion in the expansion of renewable energy.


Alpiq records strong operating result in 2022.


Stronger focus on key business

27 March 2023

Alpiq sells its Bulgarian businesses (Alpiq Energia Bulgaria, the Vetrocom wind farm and Alpiq Wind Services) to the Austrian Renalfa Group and, as a result, continues its strategy of focusing geographically on its core markets. In addition to investing in Swiss hydropower, Alpiq is also developing new wind power and photovoltaic projects in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, France and the Nordic countries in order to consolidate the security of supply and expand its climate-friendly power production.

All 31 Alpiq employees in Bulgaria will continue to work for the Renalfa organisation in the renewable energy sector. The sale has been fully completed in the first half of 2023 after completing the usual formalities, in particular approval from the competition authorities.


Alpiq sells its business in Bulgaria and concentrates on its European core markets.


Tormoseröd wind farm takes shape 

30 March 2023

Alpiq and the Swiss company FuGen (Future Generation Renewable Energy) are jointly developing the Tormoseröd wind farm in south-west Sweden. Construction is making progress, and the towers of the first four turbines are erected in spring 2023. The Tormoseröd wind farm, which is located between the towns of Strömstad and Tanum, is a joint project between Alpiq and FuGen.

The 11 wind turbines have a total output of 72.6 megawatts (MW) and their annual production is expected to amount to around 220 gigawatt hours (GWh) of power. The final work on site is completed at the end of 2023, with the wind park put into operation following final tests.


The Tormoseröd wind farm consists of 11 wind turbines. 


Leadership development for all managers

03 April 2023

In April 2023 the Secure Base Leadership journey was launched for all Alpiq’s line managers. Some months before Alpiq’s top management attended a training program at IMD Lausanne to define in a collaborative approach the foundation of Alpiq’s understanding of leadership. This then led to the co-creation of a first version of Alpiq’s leadership principles, which were then launched for the organisation. The secure base leadership programme for the line managers moved away from pure theory to experiencing what secure base leadership means. It received positive feedback and will be continued in 2024 and 2025.


A special training programme provides management with the foundations for Alpiq’s understanding of leadership.


Ronald Trächsel joins the Board of Directors 

26 April 2023

Ronald Trächsel is elected to the Board of Directors at the Alpiq Holding Ltd. annual general meeting held on 26 April 2023. Ronald Trächsel starts working in this role on 1 July 2023. He succeeds Phyllis Scholl, who leaves the Board of Directors on 26 April 2023. Ronald Trächsel was CFO for the BKW Group from 2014 until 30 June 2023.

“We are very happy to have someone with Ronald Trächsel’s proven financial expertise and familiarity with the energy sector. His expertise will make him a perfect addition to the Board of Directors,” say Johannes Teyssen, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alpiq.


Newly elected to the Board of Directors: Ronald Trächsel.


Alpiq to partner the 2025 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Valais

31 May 2023

Alpiq is the main partner of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, which will take place in Valais from 30 August to 14 September 2025. As a leading Swiss electricity producer, Alpiq operates a number of important hydropower plants in the Valais and has numerous hydropower projects to increase storage capacities for winter periods. Alpiq is proud to support this sustainable elite sporting event.

This partnership will give Alpiq the opportunity to showcase its connection with Valais, strengthen its close cooperation with local municipalities and consolidate its desire for long-term cooperation with the Valais authorities.


Support for the World Championships in Valais.


A “solar forest” for Gondo 

19 June 2023

The Gondosolar solar project in Valais uses photovoltaic panels in the form of a solar tree. The innovative design promises to minimise environmental effects while maximising returns. At the voters’ meeting held in mid-June 2023, voters in the municipality of Zwischbergen once again voted in favour of constructing the photovoltaic plant and contributing 35% of the costs of the project. The Gondosolar project partners are focusing on optimal integration into the sensitive Alpine landscape as well as soil protection.

The PV panels are designed with a tree-like structure and arranged in the form of a forest. The “solar trees” can better counteract the strong snow drifts on the so called Alpjerung. 16 bifacial PV panels are mounted crosswise on a vertical mast, creating a tree-like structure. The solar trees of the Gondosolar project are significantly better integrated into the landscape as they look like a sparse mountain forest. The project team worked closely with a natural hazards advisor and a PV technology advisor to come up with the innovative new plant design.


Solar trees from the Gondosolar PV project in Valais.


Nant de Drance celebrates its first birthday

03 July 2023

At the beginning of July 2023, the Nant de Drance pumped-storage power plant started its second year of operation. Over the last year, the 900-megawatt power plant has been underscoring its importance in stabilising the Swiss and European power grid in the face of fluctuating solar and wind energy production. The extremely reliable power plant machines can react flexibly to market fluctuations. Specifically, the Nant de Drance pumps water from the lower Emosson reservoir to the upper Vieux Emosson reservoir whenever there is a power surplus in the grid. However, when demand for power is higher than power production, Nant de Drance channels the water stored in the upper reservoir through the turbines.

This constantly changing power demand has an effect on market prices. “Even after just one year, we have noticed how the operation of the Nant de Drance machines has a corresponding effect on market prices. As such, the power plant is performing its task of stabilising the power grid and, in doing so, contributing to security of supply,” says Amédée Murisier, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nant de Drance SA.


One year of successful operation: the Nant de Drance pumped-storage power plant.


Alpiq achieves a very good half-year result

24 August 2023

Alpiq achieves a strong half-year result in 2023, with adjusted EBITDA of CHF 787 million in addition to very robust operating liquidity of CHF 1.7 billion. The decision at the end of 2021 to focus on core business in selected countries, adjusted risk management and the new management system are bearing fruit. “The results show that we have done our homework: stronger focus, fewer risks and significantly improved cooperation. This is now also reflected in the good figures across all businesses,” says Alpiq CEO Antje Kanngiesser.

Very flexible production facilities, a good trading position and a well-established origination business put Alpiq in a good position for the second half of the year in a challenging market environment.


Alpiq performs well in the first half of 2023. 


#prixalpiq 2023 winners include water management projects

22 September 2023

Winners in the third edition of the #prixalpiq include two projects that aim to optimise water resource management in the light of climate change and reduce water consumption. The 2023 #prixalpiq was awarded to the “Water sources and climate change” project from the town of Martigny and the Centre de Recherche sur l’Environnement Alpin (Centre for Research on the Alpine Environment, CREALP). The Coup de Cœur prize awarded by the jury went to the “Save water, it’s easy!” awareness-raising project by the towns of Finhaut and Trient.

Alpiq organises the #prixalpiq together with the Association of Valais Concession Authorities (ACC). The projects submitted for the #prixalpiq provide information concerning the various water management challenges facing towns in Valais, and showcase the solutions that they are currently developing in order to adapt effectively to climate change.


The #prixalpiq raises awareness about responsible water usage.


Gabi hydropower plant fully operational again after extensive renovation 

23 September 2023

Energie Electrique du Simplon (EES) officially opens the Gabi hydropower plant on 23 September 2023. In spring 2023, EES completes the full renovation of the Valais power plant, which opened in 1957. With renovation work now completed, average annual production will increase by about 15% to 44 million kilowatt hours (kWh). By renovating the Gondo (2017), Tannuwald (2020) and Gabi (2023) power plants, EES now has efficient facilities to guarantee reliable and local power generation from renewable sources on the southern side of the Simplon Pass over the coming decades.

EES has invested over CHF 37 million in the complete renovation of the Gabi hydropower plant. The machine groups generated the first kilowatt hours in May 2023. The new power plant was then opened in September 2023, marking the completion of a challenging project to renovate the three power plants.


The Gabi power plant is operational again after full renovation.


Energy decree passed by Swiss parliament

29 September 2023

In autumn 2023, the Swiss parliament made an important and pioneering decision for Swiss energy policy with the so-called “Mantelerlass”. This energy decree paves the way for higher domestic power production by solar, wind and hydropower plants. In all areas of electricity production, certain locations will in future be given priority over nature conservation. The aim is to add storage capacity and hence to produce more renewable energy in the winter months and, therefore, prevent power shortages in winter.

During the final vote on 29 September, the new Federal Act was passed in the National Council (Nationalrat) by 177 votes to 19, without any abstentions, and in the Council of States (Ständerat) by 44 votes to 0, without any abstentions.


Energy decree: the Swiss parliament in Bern passes the “Mantelerlass”.

Photo: Parlamentsdienste 3003 Bern/Goran Basic


Official opening of the renovated Grande Dixence power plant

20 October 2023

The commissioning of the Fionnay and Nendaz power plants and the pressure pipe between Lake Dix and the Rhône Valley means that the comprehensive renovation work by Grande Dixence SA has been fully completed. The power plant, which dates to the 1960s, has been completely renovated via 89 sub-projects since 2016, and has gradually resumed operations since the start of 2023.

The expensive renovation work means that Grande Dixence can now continue to reliably fulfil its role as a key systemic power plant over the coming decades and also contribute to ensuring a more secure power supply in Switzerland. The power plant can feed the power grid with enormous amounts of power in just a few minutes, therefore maintaining the balance between power supply and demand.


Completely renovated and fully operational again: the Grande Dixence power plant.


Alpiq introduces a new Code of Conduct

26 October 2023

The Code of Conduct reflects Alpiq’s way of doing business and commitment toward society. As Alpiq and the society as a whole change, so evolve the expectations placed on Alpiq. Alpiq seeks to keep pace with these changes. The new Code of Conduct gives important details and is directly addressed to all of Alpiq’s stakeholders, be it employees, shareholders and business partners. It takes a strong stand on business integrity and sets new standards or reemphasize key messages.


The new Code of Conduct defines integrity and responsible behaviour within business.


Strategy confirmed by the Board of Directors

6 December 2023

In 2023 Alpiq has worked intensively on Alpiq’s strategic directions. Together with its Board of Directors Alpiq committed to a strategy that makes the company resilient while contributing decisively to security of supply and a better climate with a clear net zero target for 2040.

The strategy confirms today’s core business and builds its future on Alpiq’s expertise. Alpiq has a strong asset base of flexible hydropower, thermal and nuclear plants and will manage this low-carbon and flexible business in the best possible way. Alpiq will continue to invest in assets and especially increase storage capacity and winter production (hydro, wind, alpine PV). Special emphasis will be placed on the expansion of flexibility technologies. These are crucial for accelerating decarbonisation and integrating renewable energy production to increase security of supply. Alpiq will also expand its trading capabilities and support customers in their flexibility management and ambition to become carbon neutral.


The strategy confirms today’s core business and builds its future on Alpiq’s expertise.


Scheduled modernisation of the San Severo power plant

15 December 2023

In 2023, Alpiq invests in its Italian gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in San Severo and completes the first part of a comprehensive modernisation plan in mid-December. By the end of 2024, several key components of the power plant will be replaced in two major steps. The modernisation will not only extend the service life of the power plant, but also improve its performance and efficiency. Once the renovation has been completed, the power plant will also be able to burn up to 25% hydrogen while also enhancing Italy’s security of supply.


The San Severo gas-fired combined-cycle power plant is comprehensively modernised.


Change in the Alpiq Board of Directors

19 December 2023

At the extraordinary General Meeting of Alpiq Holding Ltd. held on 19 December 2023, Adèle Thorens Goumaz and François Gabella were elected as two new members of the Board of Directors. They replace Jean-Yves Pidoux and Aline Isoz. Both new members will start their roles on 1 January 2024.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Johannes Teyssen, thanked the two retiring members for their service to Alpiq: “Jean-Yves Pidoux has served the Alpiq Board of Directors with discretion since its foundation and has helped shape the company with his positive behaviour and sharp intuition. Aline Isoz was able to successfully contribute her expertise in the important areas of corporate responsibility, ethics and diversity, as well as the digital transformation.”

“I am very happy about the election of the two new members of the Executive Board. With their political background for one and their technological expertise for the other, Adèle Thorens Goumaz and François Gabella will enrich the board in many ways,” adds Johannes Teyssen.


Change in the Board of Directors: Adèle Thorens Goumaz and François Gabella succeed Jean-Yves Pidoux and Aline Isoz.