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Alpiq commissions power to heat system

Lausanne – Alpiq commissioned its first power-to-heat system in Switzerland in Niedergösgen. Among other things, this system will allow Alpiq to offer negative standby power on the power ancillary services market. Alternatively, the system can also generate steam for industrial use. Alpiq EnerTrans AG was responsible for project management.

The power to heat (P2H) system in Niedergösgen in the Swiss canton of Solothurn generates process steam with its two electrode boilers, each with an electrical output of 11 MW. The system is located on the premises of the Gösgen hydropower plant and was commissioned in mid-April 2017. Because of the close vicinity to the steam line between the Gösgen nuclear power plant and the Model AG paper factory and to the hydropower plant, the location of the P2H system is optimal to ensure flexibility of use.

Power to heat technology enables Alpiq to seize new business opportunities

Alpiq will offer the electrode boilers with an output of 22 MW on the attractive ancillary services market. This is possible thanks to the system’s innovative concept. Ancillary services are used by transmission grid operators to balance the differences between generated and consumed electricity and thus contributes towards ensuring the stability of the electricity grid. With the increase of fluctuating power from wind turbines and photovoltaic systems, this balancing function has become an increasingly demanding task for grid operators. Power to heat technology is a flexible and efficient solution for balancing capacity. Alpiq is taking advantage of these benefits and pursuing its strategy of applying innovative approaches to seize new business opportunities on the energy markets.

In addition to the marketing of the balancing energy, the P2H system also makes it possible to cooperate with the Model AG paper factory. The paper factory obtains the process steam it requires from the Gösgen nuclear power plant (KKG). This will remain unchanged in the future. However, during the annual inspection of KKG, Alpiq’s new P2H system in Niedergösgen will be able to supply the paper factory the process steam. The steam is fed in underground directly into the existing heating steam network.

The heart of the system, the boiler house that houses the two steam generators, was constructed by Alpiq. The construction work started at the beginning of October 2016. The construction costs were approximately CHF 6 million.

With this project, Alpiq once again demonstrates that services “from a single source” are already a reality that is being implemented – from project planning to the approval process and construction, right through to commercialisation.