Kraftwerke Oberhasli AG (KWO) is a Swiss energy supply company, based in Innertkirchen and operating several hydroelectric plants in the Oberhasli area of the Canton of Berne. It also operates a number of tourist attractions in the same area, mostly with some relationship to its energy supply business. It uses the brands Grimselstrom and Grimselwelt, the latter specifically for its tourism ventures. Both brands are named after the Grimsel Pass that forms the upper end of its operating area.
Founded in 1925, the company had its first power plant, Handeck 1, online by 1932. Currently, KWO is operating nine plants, fed by the reservoirs of Grimselsee, Oberaarsee, Räterichsbodensee, Gelmersee and Totensee, with a total of 26 turbines giving a total maximum power output of 1.125 Gigawatts. The company produces around 2,350 Gigawatt hours of electricity annually, which represents about 7% of the country's total hydroelectric energy production.
The Handeckfluh small power plant is to utilize the previously unused gradient between Mattenalpsee and the Handeckfluh moated castle. With an investment of 22.5 million SFr., a completely underground plant with a capacity of 10 MW can be built, which would produce 24 GWh annually. The application for the construction permit was submitted in 2017.
The company also owns the Meiringen–Innertkirchen railway, the Gelmerbahn funicular, and the Sidelhornbahn, Triftbahn and Tällibahn aerial lifts. All of these were originally built to assist the construction and maintenance of its hydroelectric plants, but now provide transport for local residents and/or tourists. Additionally the Kraftwerke Oberhasli operates and maintains the Reichenbachfall Funicular, although this is owned by the neighbouring EWR Energie company. Standseilbahn Handegg–Wasserschloss Handeggfluh Ärlen was operated 1948 to 2015. Standseilbahn Urweid–Chapf has been operated since 1940, but not opened to the public.
KWO employs 530 people, or a total of 364 full-time jobs.
- ^ a b "Grimselstrom - Facts&Figures". KWO. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
- ^ "Grimselstrom - Power Plants". KWO. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
- ^ "Grimselstrom - History". KWO. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
- ^ Zeitung, Jungfrau (2018-06-23). "Trotz finanzieller Unsicherheiten wird der Ausbau weiter geplant". Jungfrau Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2023-03-27.
- ^ "Grimselwelt - Transport Lifts". KWO. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
- ^ "Kraftwerke übernehmen Betrieb der Reichenbachfall-Bahn". bernerzeitung.ch. Berner Zeitung. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2014-09-17.
- Media related to Kraftwerke Oberhasli at Wikimedia Commons
- http://www.grimselstrom.ch/ (company web site)
- http://www.grimselwelt.ch/ (tourist business web site)