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Ruppoldingen power station supplies green electricity

The demand for ecologically generated electricity is growing. Hence the Swiss energy services provider Alpiq subjected its hydroelectric power station in Ruppoldingen to a check by the Association for Environmentally Sound Energy (VUE). The power station, situated on the river Aare, fulfils the high level requirements and has hence been awarded the "naturemade star" certificate.

The Ruppoldingen hydroelectric power station near Olten generates an annual output of 115 million kilowatt hours of 100 percent ecologically-friendly electricity. This has been confirmed to the operator Alpiq Hydro Aare AG by the Association for Environmentally Sound Energy (VUE). The hydroelectric power station fully conforms to the strict requirements of the VUE and hence from the 1 January 2010 is able to use the seal of quality "naturemade star" for the next five years. The electricity generated at the Ruppoldingen power station has already been awarded the TÜV (Technical Supervisory Association) seal of approval. Ruppoldingen is the third largest power station in Switzerland to be awarded the "naturemade star" certificate. "naturemade star" recognises ecological electricity generation from 100 percent renewable energy sources. The VUE association propagates the generation of new renewable power and ecological energy generation.

The demand for ecologically generated electricity has increased significantly in Zurich With ewz, Elektrizitätswerk der Stadt Zürich, Alpiq has found a partner that can distribute a part of the ecologically generated electricity from the Ruppoldingen power station. The remaining electricity is still available for use in the region as "Aarestrom". "The sale of naturemade star green electricity to our customers grew by more than 40 percent within a single year", says Bruno Hürlimann, Head of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Business Unit at ewz. "We are delighted that Alpiq is committed to ecological electricity generation and has subjected itself to the certification." According to Urs Hofstetter, Managing Director of Alpiq Hydro Aare AG, the power station was very well prepared for the certification procedure. "We built the power station, which has been in service since 2000, largely in harmony with nature and in accordance with the latest criteria for environmentally-friendly energy generation. We are delighted that we were able to conform to the strict requirements of the VUE at the first attempt". When constructing the power station, Alpiq invested more than 20 million Swiss francs in ecological compensation and replacement measures. The river power station is a prime example for the environmentally-friendly use of hydro power. In spite of the high ecological standard, the "naturemade star" certificate also obligates the power station operator to the fulfilling of additional conditions. Amongst these is the requirement to set up a fund for ecological improvement that is financed by one centime per kilowatt hour of electricity sold.

"naturemade star" fulfils the highest requirements worldwide During the ten years of its existence, the VUE has awarded the "naturemade star" certificate to more than 200 water, wind, solar and biomass power stations. The award procedure consists of checks of each power station by external experts and the decision by the association’s management Board. VUE’s Managing Director Cornelia Brandes stresses the high level of requirements of "naturemade star": "Compared with other quality approval schemes on an international level, "naturemade star" demands the highest level of requirements worldwide, in particular for the use of hydro power." This is confirmed by the "Green Electricity − Making a Difference" study conducted by the Controlling and Consulting Company PricewaterhouseCoopers and supported by the environment organisation WWF.

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