Active climate protection “Made in Tyrol” – XL solar power at the Vorkogel drag lift in Gerlos (Zillertal Arena).
At an altitude of 2,055 metres above sea level, the Zillertal Arena, with its first solar electricity power plant, is making an active contribution to sustainable energy production. Noiseless, emission-free and well integrated into the natural landscape, the so-called “Alpin Mover XL”, with a nominal capacity of 14.8 kWp, delivers approx. 35,000 kWh of clean energy every year.
With this energy approximately 160,000 skiers can be conveyed on the Vorkogel tow lift every season while leaving a zero carbon footprint. Outside operating hours, the electricity generated is fed into the public power grid which provides an additional substantial economic benefit.
Developed and manufactured by the pioneering Tyrolean photovoltaic company HILBER SOLAR based in Steinach am Brenner, the dual-axis photovoltaic tracker works much in the same way as a sunflower, orienting its solar cells automatically and precisely to face the sun, thereby increasing the electricity yield by up to 40% in comparison to a similar-sized fixed collector.
Both the Zillertal Arena and HILBER SOLAR place a strong emphasis on a sustained commitment to environmental protection in the Tyrol. This system demonstrates that the combination of Tyrolean inventiveness and an innovative ski-lift operating company can result in an active contribution to climate protection – and not only that, but one that is profitable to boot!
Owing to the decentralised concept, each installation is a one-off that can be upgraded quickly and easily at any time. Austria’s former Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor Josef Pröll, himself a graduate engineer, paid a visit to the Zillertal valley to see for himself personally the photovoltaic installation, so far the only one of its kind in high alpine terrain.