The EPV Wind business area saw a great deal of hard work in 2016 both on new projects and the existing wind power farms. This was the first whole year in operation for the Torkkola wind power farm built in Vaasa by EPV Wind and for the expanded Puuska onshore wind power farm, Puuska 2 in Röyttä, Tornio, built by Rajakiiri. All the farms generated power according to plan and with no problems. The annual fluctuation of wind speed is part and parcel of wind power, and 2016 had the lowest winds in years. Considering this was the case, the wind power farms generated a good amount of power, totalling 320.7 GWh.
Santavuori completed and ready for commercial operations in record time
The 2016 success story for EPV Wind was the Santavuori wind power farm in Ilmajoki. The installation of its 17 power plants was completed ahead of schedule, and the whole farm was put into commercial use at the beginning of July. The farm’s generation also started better than expected.
The smooth running of the Santavuori project was mainly due to the lessons learned during the Torkkola project. Many processes were refined and functioned better as a result, which expedited the completion of the project.
During the building of Santavuori, we had close dialogue with the area’s residents. The locals were worried, for example, about the farm’s effect on TV reception in the area. That is why EPV Wind decided to install a new TV gapfiller in Santavuori, which significantly improved the area’s transmission quality.
The Metsälä large wind power farm project gives locals jobs
The Metsälä wind power farm in Kristinestad proceeded in leaps and bounds. Over the year, a large infrastructure project took place at the farm, including the building of a road network and the casting of the foundations of 34 power plants. The huge size of the area set some challenges for this work, as driving from one end of the farm to the other takes more than half an hour and the entire 2,000 hectare area corresponds to 482 football pitches. The installation of the Metsälä power plants will begin in the summer of 2017, and the farm will commence power generation at the end of the same year, reaching completion when the finishing work is done in the spring of 2018.
The Metsälä project has enlivened local trade and industry. We sought subcontractors among local operators and used them in the building of the farm infrastructure alongside larger contracts. The area’s accommodation and restaurant services have also benefitted from the busy building stage.
|Number of power plants||16||17||34|
|Total output||52,8 MW||56,1 MW||117,3 MW|
|Annual output||150 000 MWh||Over 150 000 MWh||Over 400 000 MWh|
|Size of project area||Approximately 1,000 hectares||Approximately 2,000 hectares||Approximately 800 hectares|
|Number of landowners||Approximately 130||Approximately 110||Approximately 100|
|Road network, km||13 km||13,5 km||27 km|
|Year of completion||2015||2016||2018|
The last two wind power plant sites in the feed-in tariff system’s quota were granted to Teuva
The feed-in tariff system’s quota for wind power was filled over the course of 2016. The last two power plant sites in the quota were granted to the Paskoonharju wind power project in Teuva. There are roughly 60 wind power plant sites pending building permit in Laihia, Teuva and Närpes, which will have to wait for future control systems.
EPV has several new wind power plant projects in the pipeline, each at a different stage. For example, EPV Wind’s Maaninka wind power project in Kuusamo is at the environmental impact assessment (EIA) stage, whereas Rajakiiri is planning a wind power farm in the municipality of Simo. Rajakiiri and Suomen Merituuli have 80 offshore power plant sites pending, which require that the technical and economic preconditions are met before they can proceed.
Wind power must be profitable without subsidies
Finland needs a more stable and secure energy policy.
EPV’s long-term ambition is for wind power to be profitable also without the aid of subsidies. Currently, however, the market prices of electricity do not allow investments without control and support.
From the point of view of cost-effectiveness, it is of primary importance that the applicable government control is predictable and long-term. Situations should not be possible where first a subsidy scheme is set up in order to persuade companies to invest, but later the investment decisions made are hindered with heavy taxes, such as raised real estate tax. There has also been a great deal of political discussion in Finland on the environmental and health impacts of wind power. At EPV, we consider it a priority to discover the facts of this matter.