Concessions for Lagobianco project approved

Poschiavo, (PresseBox) - The Canton Graubünden government has approved the concessions for the Lagobianco project. Repower and Poschiavo, Pontresina and Brusio, the concession municipalities, submitted the request for approval on 29 November 2011. Prior to that, the three local communities had held municipal assemblies or referenda to grant Repower four concessions:

- Concession A, granted by the municipality of Poschiavo, for the continued operation of existing facilities in the Upper Poschiavo valley
- Concession B, granted by the municipality of Poschiavo, for the construction of the new Lagobianco pumped storage power plant
- Concession granted by the municipality of Pontresina for the construction of the new Lagobianco pumped storage power plant
- Concession granted by the municipality of Brusio for the continued operation of existing facilities in the Lower Poschiavo valley

Important milestone

Repower notes with satisfaction the approval of the concession and the positive assessment of the Lagobianco project by the Canton Graubünden government. This marks a further milestone in efforts to consolidate the generation of hydropower in the Poschiavo valley and potentially increase it in the future. With the successful approval of the concessions, the first phase of the two-stage cantonal licensing procedure is complete.

Further work on the inspection project

Repower will review the approval dossier, and is continuing work on the inspection project with the aim of submitting the application for project approval during the course of this year. This involves documentation for the second phase of the cantonal licensing procedure. Once submitted, the application will be reviewed by the competent authority.

Repower is convinced that generating electricity from water and putting storage and highly flexible power generation capacity in place are key to ongoing efforts to move the energy system over to renewables. The continued operation of existing facilities will facilitate implementation of the federal government's Energy Strategy 2050. This also accords with Canton Graubünden's energy policy goals. The Lagobianco project is also a key component for the implementation of the energy strategy. However, in the difficult market environment that currently prevails, it is not possible to make a decision to proceed with the construction of the plant, and as things stand at present it has to be assumed that the project will be delayed by several years.

Repower expects upcoming decisions on energy policy to reflect the immensely significant role hydropower plays in the provision of electricity, as well as the role of the alpine cantons. It is time to put market-based systems in place to eliminate the market distortions resulting from ill-conceived subsidy schemes for renewables, and thus create a dependable environment where long-term investment is again encouraged and supported.

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