EPV WIND POWER AND NEW TECHNOLOGY

The objective of EPV Wind’s business activities is to increase the share of emission-free energy generation in the Group.

In 2020, the EPV Wind and Solar Power business area focused on wind power construction and planning a colossal solar power project for a former peat production area. It was a windy year, and power generation records were broken at EPV’s wind power plants.

In 2020, EPV Windpower built 23 turbines in the Paskoonharju wind power plant in Teuva. This is EPV’s first wind farm investment to be built completely without public funding. The farm had two turbines to begin with, and 2020 saw the beginning of the building work for its 21 new turbines. Construction progressed according to plan.

“The area’s infrastructure was completed, and we can begin erecting the turbines in 2021. The entire farm will be ready for use in 2022,” says Vice President Frans Liski, EPV Windpower.

When complete, the Paskoonharju wind farm in Teuva will be EPV’s fifth industrial-scale wind power plant and its annual production volume will be almost 400,000 MWh. This plant will bring EPV Group’s total wind power production above the one terawatt hour limit.

Sixth wind power plant under preparation

Frans Liski

In 2020, EPV made preparations for 17 turbines to be constructed in the wind power plant in Norrskogen, Närpes. It will be EPV’s sixth industrial-scale wind farm.

“In the autumn of 2020, we made preparations in the area, for example, by improving the road to the wind farm. We also began clearing trees in the area,” Liski says.

Preparations for the Norrskogen wind power project will be made in 2021.

EPV also had three other wind farm projects under preparation during the year. They will be located in Laihia, Simo and Kuusamo.

Huge solar power project being planned in South Ostrobothnia

The economic competitiveness of solar power has improved over the last few years, and this trend is expected to continue. In 2020, EPV Energy started planning its first industrial-scale solar power project.

After looking into the optimal location for the solar farm, EPV decided to build it on a peat production area in Heinineva, Lapua, where peat production is being phased out. The Heinineva area is large and open and almost unimpeded by shadow. During the year, the project obtained a legally valid decision on the need for planning, and permit applications for the future use of the area were submitted.

“Peat production in Heinineva is estimated to come to an end in 2023. The area offers an excellent potential site for solar power generation,” says Sami Kuitunen, EPV’s Development and PR Manager.

Sami Kuitunen

In planning the solar power plant in Lapua, EPV is making use of the data collected at the EPV Alavus solar power measuring station.

If implemented, the Heinineva solar power plant will be the largest in Finland by far. Key figures for the planned plant:

  • Area size 170 hectares
  • Plant’s total output 100 MWp
  • 300,000–400,000 solar panels
  • Output per panel 400 Wp
  • Plant’s average output during its life cycle approximately 90–95 GWh
  • Length of panel mounts 150 km

The project may be completed later in the 2020s. According to Kuitunen, whether the solar farm becomes a reality depends on the competitiveness of the solar cell technology at the time of building, the cost-effectiveness of construction and the shareholders’ investment needs.

2020, the year of the current wind farms

2020 was a record-breaking year in terms of production at all EPV’s wind power plants. Their joint total production was as much as 868 GWh.

There were two unusual events in September at the Metsälä wind farm where the blade of a turbine broke off and fell to the foot of the tower. Both events were linked to thunderstorms and lightning strikes. More detailed technical investigations of the incidents and corrective action will continue during spring 2021.

Offshore wind power has future potential

Offshore wind power has aroused a great deal of political interest and is continuously being investigated also by EPV. EPV is a shareholder in Rajakiiri Oy and Suomen Merituuli Oy and also actively follows technological developments on the offshore wind power front. Cost development is expected to be favourable also for offshore wind power in the coming years.

The development of EPV wind power over the last ten years

Wind power to EPV Energy, GWh