Europe's largest wood-fired power plant is in Anzère!
Markus Mann is responsible for this ingenious initiative towards a clean and sustainable energy project. The Mann family has owned a flat in Anzère since 1972. The problem with all these flats, built in the mid-1960s, is the same: the oil-fired heating systems are outdated and need to be replaced. The idea of returning to polluting, non-renewable fossil fuel systems was unimaginable for this clean energy pioneer. Markus Mann therefore put his energy, knowledge and funds into the realisation of this project.
The first step was to inform and then unite all the property owners in Anzère. The estate agents in Anzère also did a lot of work in this respect. In total, this clean energy project involves some 600 owners.
The company Chauffage Bois-Energie Anzère, CBA SA was founded in June 2012 to implement the project. The power plant is located at Moère between the Bonnefille road and the Arbaz-Anzère road. The site is located 700 m from the central square. The land is leased by the Bourgeoisie d'Ayent for a period of 50 years.
Several subsidies financed this project, which was so visionary at the time.
- Municipal, cantonal and federal subsidies.
- Subsidy from the Climate Cent Foundation: Fr. 130 per tonne of CO2 saved (approx. Fr. 830,000)
- Municipal subsidy for the promotion of renewable energies, Fr. 15,000 per building (beneficiaries = co-ownerships)
- Cantonal subsidy: 35% of the net connection costs per building (beneficiaries = co-ownerships)
To simplify the understanding of its functioning, "let's place a fire under a pipe filled with water, the water will heat up. Let's then circulate this hot water, underground, from building to building, before bringing it back to the Power Plant to heat it up again. The fire represents the wood-fired power station, the pipe the network of pipes that carry the heat. This is a simple explanation of the principle of heat production and transport" ( www.chauffageboisanzere.ch).
The idea is therefore very simple: to optimise a single heating use by providing several beneficiaries, through a single supply channel of local and renewable fuel (the wood comes from the Valais forests and is transformed into small sticks by the Valpellets company in Uvrier) and through a single maintenance service.
The power plant houses two boilers of 3.15 M each, i.e. a total power of 6.5 MW to produce heat by burning wood pellets. Two large silos with a capacity of 200,000 litres are filled with these pellets, which are then conveyed from the silo to the boiler automatically by a screw conveyor. The plant operates autonomously, just like an oil-fired boiler.
Today are connected to this beautiful project :
- more than 27 buildings
- plus 19 chalets
- the Télé Anzère cable car
- Anzère Spa & Wellnes
You can also find some old news to better understand its use and especially its great success HERE