Alpine Pearls - Preserving nature is the focus
Nature is important to us and that's why we want to protect it! We are members of the Alpine Pearls association. Sustainable tourism, reasonable use of raw materials, environmental protection, and the production of clean energy are near and dear to our hearts:
- As early as 1908, a power plant was built for the Grandhotel Karersee. This was one of the first power plants built in Tyrol.
- The locals delighted in the luxury of this possession. Some people of Welschnofen had foresight and united in an effort to secure a stand-alone power supply for the municipality. In 1912, the Elektro AG company started operation of its first power plant at the Welschnofen creek.
Since the power requirements of the community increased over the years, two more plants were built, each about 50 years apart. The strong upturn of the economy and the boost in tourism resulted in much higher energy demands during the winter months, which could no longer be met because of the low water level. That made it necessary to synchronize the Welschnofen power grid with the national "Enel" grid starting in the fall of 1984.
- Dec. 31, 1999, the AG (stock-holding corporation) was changed to a cooperative to make sure that all members could get electricity at affordable rates. The cooperative was made up exclusively of members from the municipality, including many hotel owners and people from the business sector, but also private individuals.
- When the power supply to the Grand Hotel was no longer sufficient, the Karersee plant was shut down in 1974. In 2007, the plant was reopened under the joint ownership of the forest and domain administration, outfitted with equipment built according to the most modern technical standards and run in strict compliance with the minimum water level requirements. The old power plant built from natural stones was outfitted with big glass windows so that visitors can take a glimpse of the inner workings of a power station.
- Passers-by can experience for themselves that the holiday resort Welschnofen-Karersee, an Alpine Pearl member, truly stands by its desire to produce clean energy.
- The newly constructed plant and the other 4 smaller plants, run under the ownership of the WEG (Welschnofen Energy Producing Cooperative), generate enough power to meet the annual requirements of Welschnofen municipality and reduce CO² emissions by 2,544,000 kg.