The latest Pilatus solar plant was connected to the power grid just a few days ago: occupying an area of 190 by 70 metres and equipped with almost 5,000 solar modules, the maximum power output of the new Pilatus photovoltaic plant is sufficient to meet the energy requirements of over 300 single-family homes. This investment marks another big step forward by Pilatus toward climate-neutral aircraft production.
The positive experience of the first two plants led to the installation of an additional solar system on the newest production hall as well. It is the already the third in service. The last one was awarded the European and Swiss Solar Prizes in 2018. Recently connected to the grid, this latest plant delivers almost double the power as the one from 2018, which won the awards.
The new installation was substantially extended to occupy the greater space available: the roof of Pilatus’ newest timber hall, located right by the A2 motorway, has a surface area equal to almost two football pitches, allowing for the installation of 4,996 modules. The power station’s maximum power output is 1.973 megawattspeak (MWp). That means it produces around 1,700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, covering the annual power requirements of over 300 single-family homes, to give an example of the plant’s capacity. This solar power plant is by far the largest in canton Nidwalden and is also one of the largest in central Switzerland.
Aiming for climate-neutral production
With its latest plant, Pilatus has taken another important step toward climate-neutral aircraft production. Every year, the company sets itself new goals to promote sustainability and the environment. The assembly hall on which the latest solar system is installed, was built primarily with Swiss timber, a sustainable resource. It offers an ideal modern working atmosphere for employees.
Markus Bucher, Pilatus CEO, adds: “I’m very proud that we were able to invest in this new photovoltaic plant here at our headquarters in Stans”. Sustainability and environmental issues have always been very important to Pilatus, and we focus on various areas which include projects which have already been completed such as heating with renewable energy and heat recovery from our own production facilities, LED lighting and full recycling of residual materials from our processing operations. In addition, both the PC-12 and PC-24 obtained certification to fly with “sustainable fuel” last year. In the future we are planning to invest in a fully electric fleet of company vehicles and we also want to offer our employees charging stations for their electric vehicles”.