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Solar energy to be developed in Lausanne

Plans have been announced to build Switzerland's largest solar centre at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in the western city of Lausanne.

The Institute and the power company Romande Energie announced on Thursday they had joined forces to build a photovoltaic centre covering an area of around 20,000 square metres on the campus.

The new facility will be commissioned in stages from this year and will ultimately produce over two million kWh of electricity annually.

The project, costing SFr20 million ($17.95 million) and financed by the power company, will be coupled with a strategic partnership in the field of energy innovation.

Part of the solar power station will be used for research and development by the many laboratories at the Institute working in this field, a statement said.

The partnership on the promotion and development of solar energy is expected to be extended at a later date and may be supplemented by other cooperation agreements, in particular with Lausanne University.

The largest production from a solar energy source comes at present from the roof of the Stade de Suisse stadium in the capital, Bern.

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