Zermatt is renowned not just for its stunning views and world-class skiing, but also for its commitment to sustainability.
At the heart of Zermatt’s green initiatives lies the Zmutt Hydroelectric Dam, a remarkable feat of engineering that harnesses the power of nature to generate clean and renewable energy.
Located just above the ancient hamlet of Zmutt, the dam was constructed in 1964 as a collaboration between the local community and the Swiss government.
The power of glacial meltwater
The dam was designed to capture the immense power of glacial meltwater, by channelling water from the Bis, Schali and Gorner glaciers through its turbines, converting its kinetic energy into electricity.
It consists of a reservoir that stores glacial meltwater behind a 74m high wall, which is then released in a controlled manner to generate electricity.
Four pumps, located at Mattertal at 1972m, have a total output of 88 MW, and pump around 140 million m3 of water each season. The water is fed through a pressure shaft via the Trift tunnel to 2400m above sea level.
The Zmutt dam plays a vital role in Zermatt’s comprehensive sustainability strategy, aimed at minimising the town’s ecological footprint and preserving the natural beauty of the region. The use of renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power is a cornerstone of that strategy.
You can read more about Zermatt’s sustainability measures in our extensive blog post here:
Zermatt’s sustainability efforts are part of a larger nationwide initiative known as ‘Swisstainable’.
Launched by the Swiss government, the ‘Swisstainable’ project aims to make Switzerland a global leader in sustainability by implementing innovative strategies across various sectors.
The project focuses on promoting renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and fostering sustainable tourism practices.
Visit the Zmutt Pumping Station
Guided tours of the pumping station take place weekly during summer, during which visitors can explore the gigantic tunnel system that connect the power plants.
For guests of Matterhorn Chalets, we can book a tour for you via our concierge service.
Book accommodation in Zermatt
If you are looking for accommodation in Zermatt, please contact the Matterhorn Chalets team either via our website or by calling +41 79 247 15 88