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Switzerland buys mobile gas turbines as energy backup for winter – But do they have the gas?

mobile gas turbines

The procurement is the first contract signed under the governing Federal Council’s recent agreement to provide for back-up power plants. This measure will supplement the country’s hydropower reserves, which can be used in a targeted manner in winter if necessary, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) announced on Friday.

The eight mobile gas turbines have been purchased from GE Gas Power and will be installed at the GE site in Birr in the northern Swiss canton of Aargau. They are powered by gas, but also by oil or hydrogen. They will be ready for operation this winter until the end of 2026. The total costs over the entire period amount to CHF470 million (around$480 million).

The setup comprises eight modular turbines of TM2500 type with a capacity of at least 30 megawatts each, making a total of around 250 megawatts.

In addition, negotiations with other potential suppliers of reserve power plants are still underway. These reserve power plants will be subject to the emissions trading scheme. At the same time, clarifications are being made as to which company will operate the plant.


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