The hydroelectric sector has some major challenges to overcome. It is also set to play a major role in Switzerland's 2050 energy strategy. If the demands of the changing energy landscape are to be met, the industry needs to innovate – especially in the area of digitalisation. These challenges, which the key stakeholders all have to face, have led FMV, HYDRO Exploitation and Alpiq to sign a collaboration agreement with the HES-SO Valais-Wallis School of Engineering. The school has been working on hydroelectric power projects for several years. This partnership has resulted in the creation of Hydro Alps in July 2021. Hydro Alps is an applied research and development laboratory specialising in improving the monitoring and production of Alpine high-pressure and run-of-river power plants.
The purpose of the laboratory is to work towards the development of a state-of-the-art, sustainable hydroelectric power generation system. It will achieve this by generating innovation through applied R&D work and by strengthening collective expertise in the field of hydroelectric power generation. The results of this work will be incorporated into training so that training meets industry needs.