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Blade running

Wind farm gets new turbines

Not so easy to propel a propeller (Keystone / Jean-Christophe Bott)

Not so easy to propel a propeller

(Keystone / Jean-Christophe Bott)

Switzerland’s biggest wind farm is getting bigger – or at least more powerful. Production will go up by 40% after the installation of new turbines there.

Run by Bern-based electricity company BKW, the Mont Crosin wind farm in the Jura mountains has 16 wind turbines. The four oldest are now in the process of being replaced by more powerful ones. In a traffic-stopping manoeuvre on Wednesday, one of the new blades was carefully transported through the town of La Ferriere – a tight fit for the 55-metre-long blade.

Switzerland’s first wind energy plant came into operation in 1986. In addition to Mont Crosin in canton Bern, other large facilities are in operation in Collonges (canton Valais), Entlebuch (canton Lucerne) and on the Gütsch (canton Uri).

The plants provided 88 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2012, the equivalent of the annual consumption of almost 25,000 households. According to the Swiss government’s energy strategy, the production of electricity by wind power should reach 4,300 GWh by 2050.

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