Gotthard Base Tunnel – Environmental Projects

Switzerland. With construction of the new Gotthard rail link AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd is also ensuring that its projects are ecologically optimised. For example, tunnel water at the north end of the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be used for breeding native fish and crustaceans (shellfish) as well as to provide energy in the form of heat. ATG has reached agreement with “Basis57 nachhaltige Wassernutzung AG” for the purchase of approximately 2.5 hectares of land near the north portal.

According to Urs Aschwanden, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Basis57, the buildings for the fish farm will be built by 2020 and production scaled up in several phases until 2023. The investment value is between 25 and 30 million Swiss francs (21–25 million euros).

 

Sedrun: Small hydro-electric Power Generator

Installed in the invert of the Gotthard Base Tunnel are tunnel-water pipes which must be constantly flushed with clean water. This water is collected at various locations in Sedrun and transported via a pressurised pipeline through the access adit and the 800-metres-deep shaft to the multifunction station at Sedrun. In a small hydro-electric power generator in the multifunction station at Sedrun, the kinetic energy that is released through transportation of the water down the shaft will be converted into electrical energy. The generator will produce around 1.1 GWh per annum. Construction work is in progress.

A study is also under way for an energy concept at Tujetsch, which is investigating whether geothermal heat from the rock temperature in the tunnel can be used to generate energy.

 

Bodio: Compressed Air for Energy Generation

In the 3.2-kilometres-long spoil tunnel between Pollegio and Loderio in the Blenio Valley, compressed air will be stored to generate energy. Planning permission for a pilot system has been granted. Projects to use warm water from the Gotthard Base Tunnel for a district heating system and a fish farm have also been elaborated but are currently suspended.


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