Our history - Since 1897
The engineer Fritz Eckinger and politician Stephan Gschwind founded 'Elektra Birseck Münchenstein' in 1897 with the intention of introducing electric lighting and the idea of organising a company as a cooperative, which was a new concept at the time.
The supply area in the lower part of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft and Birseck-Dorneck, a part of the Canton of Solothurn, was soon expanded. Between 1906 and 1914, EBM connected eleven municipalities and the City of Saint-Louis (Haut Rhin) to the grid. Since 1921, EBM has been supplying a total of 60 municipalities with electricity in the Swiss Cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Solothurn and in French Alsace.
In 1930, EBM acquired its first shares in the former Aare Tessin AG für Elektrizität (now Alpiq), which became the main electricity supplier. With this strategic investment, EBM already participated in one of the largest power plant parks in Switzerland.
In 1979, EBM was the first company in Switzerland to start supporting the frugal and rational use of energy. EBM set aside its first provisions for the support of renewable energies and set up an environmental advice centre for its customers. In the field of local heating supplies, EBM developed the concepts "cogeneration plant and heat pump" at the beginning of the 1980s and constructed the first cogeneration plant in 1982.
Since 1992, EBM has been constructing, supporting and investing in photovoltaic plants to allow it to sell solar energy at an attractive price. EBM opened an electricity museum in Münchenstein to commemorate its 100th anniversary in 1997.
In 2009, EBM started producing its own electricity from wind and solar power on a large basis. The company aravis founded "AravisEnergy I LP" to realise large plants in Southern Europe. It is the first Swiss limited partnership (limited partnership for collective capital investments) that was approved by the Swiss Federal Banking Commission. The fund was used for developing projects with a volume of CHF 200 million. EBM was the main investor with CHF 70 million.
EBM’s investments helped to realise the first wind parks and photovoltaic plants in Italy and Spain with an installed output of around 64 Megawatt.
EBM acquired two wind parks in Spain with total output of 70 Megawatt (MW) through "leading swiss renewables AG" in which EBM holds a 65% share and Energie Wasser Bern (ewb) a 35% share. At CHF 165 million, the wind parks are the largest project so far. The two neighbouring wind parks are located near Salamanca in the Castile and Leon region. The paths between the first and last turbine stretch for 20 kilometres. The rotors have a diameter of 90 m and are fixed to 78 m high masts. They have an installed output of 36 Megawatt (Bandelera wind park) and 34 Megawatt (Rodera-Alta wind park). The combined output of both plants exceeds that of all Swiss wind parks by one third. Compared with Switzerland, around 60% more energy is produced during effective production thanks to ideal wind conditions.