Innovative PV systems for 45 ASTRA motorway rest areas

aventron, BG Ingenieure und Berater, Cargo sous terrain and dhp technology have joined forces to form the ABCD-Horizon consortium to produce renewable energy with innovative photovoltaic (PVA) systems at 45 motorway rest areas in French-speaking Switzerland and the cantons of Valais and Bern. The total capacity of the plants can be up to 35 megawatts.

The expansion of photovoltaics plays a decisive role in the implementation of the energy transition. For the Federal Council, it is an important component of the Energy Strategy 2050. One possibility here is the installation of photovoltaic systems on Swiss motorways. Last year, the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) called on companies such as aventron to equip rest areas and noise barriers in particular with systems for the production of renewable energy. The federal government provides the corresponding areas free of charge. To participate in the tender, aventron joined forces with BG Ingenieure und Berater, Cargo sous terrain and dhp technology to form the consortium ABCD-Horizon (the name corresponds to the first letters of the companies), which was ultimately awarded the contract for all motorway rest areas in the regions of French-speaking Switzerland, Valais and Bern. The potential for the total of 45 possible installations is 35 megawatts. In purely mathematical terms, this would be enough to supply around 7,800 households with an average electricity consumption of 4,500 kilowatt hours per year with renewable energy.

The HORIZON folding solar roof, the only one of its kind in the world, made by the Grisons-based company dhp technology, is to be used. It extends or retracts fully automatically depending on the weather. Thanks to the lightweight construction and the patented folding mechanism, wide distances between supports and great heights of up to 6 metres above the ground are possible. This keeps the traffic routes free for large vehicles and goods. HORIZON thus offers maximum flexibility for infrastructure areas such as motorway rest areas with optimal use of solar energy, space and shading.

BG Ingenieure und Berater is responsible for the overall project management and the planning of the PV systems. The engineering firm specialises, among other things, in the planning and realisation of sustainable and promising energy projects.

The electricity from the PV systems will primarily be used for the charging infrastructure along the motorways. It can either flow into existing charging stations at the rest areas or be stored in batteries. Surplus electricity, in turn, will be fed into the grid and sold to Primeo Energie, Stadtwerke Winterthur and ewb, aventron's three main shareholders, who will contribute their expertise as energy supply contractors, particularly in the area of sustainable mobility.

A long-term buyer is the company Cargo sous terrain, which is part of the ABCD-Horizon consortium. This will build a total logistics system for the above-ground and underground transport of small-scale goods for Switzerland in the coming years, powered entirely by renewable energies.

Work on the PV systems is expected to begin in 2024 and should be completed in 2027.

With this project, aventron, together with its shareholders, is consolidating its position as one of Switzerland's major producers of renewable energy. For all companies involved in the consortium, the implementation of the energy transition is part of the strategic orientation.

You can find out more about the project here.