The Ruppoldingen power station belonging to Alpiq Hydro Aare AG has been certified with the "naturemade star" quality label since 2010. A considerable part of the added value of green electricity generation is set aside in a fund. The money is specifically earmarked for projects for the ecological enhancement of the environment in the catchment areas of the Flumenthal, Ruppoldingen and Gösgen run-of-river power stations. Several projects have already been completed, such as the creation of a wet biotope in the Witi conservation area near the town of Grenchen, the revitalisation of the Chrizi pond in Biberist and the fish pond in Trimbach as well as the construction of two carp pools in Rothrist and Brittnau. Furthermore, last autumn the Bärnerschache shallow water area below the Flumenthal power station was reinstated. Additionally the fund financed the laying out of a new branch of the River Aare near Selzach. For the completed projects as well as for the planning and implementation of additional project ideas the fund has so far authorised a total of 900,000 Swiss francs.
With the certification Alpiq committed itself to augment the fund. For each kilowatt hour of electricity that is generated, 0.1 Swiss cents flows into the fund and additionally for every kilowatt hour sold 0.9 Swiss cents in the form of certificates. The ecological added value has since 2010 has primarily been taken over by the energy services company ewz in Zurich. At the beginning of 2012 ewz extended the existing contract by a further three years.
Certification commits the power station to administrating the fund
The Ruppoldingen hydroelectric power station has been generating ecologically valuable electrical energy on the River Aare near Boningen for more than 12 years. Since 2010 the plant meets the exacting requirements of the Association for Environmentally Sound Energy (VUE). These regulations stipulate that the operator of the power station must set up a fund to finance ecological improvement measures. This fund is used to support renaturation projects along the River Aare between Grenchen and Niedergösgen.
Power station, public authorities and environmental organisations manage the funds
The quality label "naturemade star" stands for ecologically produced energy from 100 percent renewable sources and furthermore guarantees compliance with additional stringent and comprehensive ecological restrictions. The use of the financial resources of the fund is decided by a steering committee. This is composed of five representatives from cantonal agencies and environmental organisations, one environmental expert and two representatives of Alpiq Hydro Aare AG.
For more information about the quality label "naturemade star" see www.naturemade.ch