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Geothermal project in Haute-Sorne in Switzerland secures risk insurance

Plant design for Haute-Sorne project, Switzerland (source: Geo-Energie Suisse)
Alexander Richter 19 Feb 2017

The planned geothermal power project at Haute-Sorne in Switzerland has received a federal risk guarantee of $47 million taking an important step forward for the project by Geo-Energie Suisse in the Canton of Jura.

A new geothermal power project in Switzerland is pushing forward having now secured a risk insurance over CHF 47 million ($47 million).

As reported in a release by Geo Energie Suisse, the developer – the special plan for the project was validated by the Contonal Curt in the Jura Canton of Switzerland last December. The Haute-Sorne project has now taken another essential step in obtaining a risk guarantee by the Federal government in the country. The project is thus granted a maximum sum of CHF 47 million ($47 million) in case of partial success or failure. The positive decision was made on the basis of the conclusions of a committee of experts mandated by the Federal Office of Energy, which thoroughly examined all the technical, economic and safety features of the project for more than two years.

The risk guarantee for geothermal projects covers part of the financial risk in the event that the temperatures or water flows necessary for the success of the geothermal operation are not met. With this risk guarantee program, the federal government aims at encouraging development of geothermal projects in Switzerland.

For the Minister of the Environment, this decision is an additional element that secures the project. But the authorities have also asked the company to take out civil liability insurance of CHF 100 million ($100 million) for possible environmental and seismic damage.

There is though still local opposition against the project and a pending appeal before the Federal Court of Switzerland, which was filed against the decision of the Cantonal court of Jura to validate the special plan in December.

Aware of the ongoing debate surrounding the project, Geo-Energie Suisse is organize a visit of a geothermal power plant in Alsace/ France on March 11, 2017. The Parliamentary Committee for the Environment and Equipment of the Canton of Jura has expressed interest in this visit and will also take part in it. With the trip it is aimed that those interested can explore and form their own opinion on this renewable energy technology.

Source: Geo Energie SuisseGeo Energie Suisse Project Description