Ilmatar currently has public project development underway in Finland for a total of 16 different wind farms in 20 different municipalities. Project development is driven by our core values of accountability, expertise and being a forerunner.
Ilmatar’s project development localities currently include Hämeenkyrö, Ii, Ikaalinen, Kajaani, Kauhajoki, Keitele, Kihniö, Kristiinankaupunki, Kuortane, Kurikka, Loviisa, Merijärvi, Paltamo, Parkano, Pielavesi, Säkylä, Punkalaidun, Puolanka, Seinäjoki, and Somero.
“A total of 262 turbines with a total rated capacity of more than 1,700 MW are planned for these projects. This corresponds to about half of the wind power capacity currently installed in Finland. In addition to these announced projects, the project development team is conducting preliminary investigations of varying degrees for about 20 different wind farms across Finland. Their zoning procedures and environmental impact assessments will be launched next year,” says Jussi Mäkinen, Head of Project Development at Ilmatar.
Ilmatar’s project team of 17 people is working on these onshore wind projects, supplemented by a large number of Finland’s most qualified experts, from whom the environmental investigations, technical investigations, wind measurements and other necessary planning and design work required for the projects have been commissioned.
“In connection with the ongoing projects, we engage in co-operation with the authorities not only with officeholders in all project localities, but also with nine different regional councils and centers for economic development, transport and the environment. There are more than a thousand landowners in the wind farm areas, so working with various stakeholders is a key part of the project development team’s daily work,” Mäkinen explains.
In April–May alone, Ilmatar’s project development team met with hundreds of landowners at various events and even in their home.
“Many stories of everyday lives of different people were heard over a cup of coffee. Meeting people is an important part of the job, as building a wind farm on a forest plot will raise a lot of questions that should be discussed face to face. The values that guide Ilmatar’s project development are accountability, expertise and being a forerunner. The result of the work is energy that you can be proud of,” says Mäkinen.
For project development, the challenges often stem from different views on the suitability of the areas for wind power generation.
An example: Ilmatar is aware of areas where landowners want to have wind power and the Defense Forces support the project; an uninhabited area allows the construction of a wind farm comprising of dozens of turbines, and no significant natural value has emerged – nevertheless, the regional council does not see the area having any potential for wind power generation.
Great need for additional areas
“Finland is in desperate need of additional areas suitable for renewable energy production. We will engage in active dialogue with various parties so that environmentally friendly energy could be planned for the most suitable areas in the region. There really is no ‘zero alternative’: if wind power cannot be built, the corresponding electricity will be produced somewhere else, and probably with a less favorable environmental impact,” Mäkinen explains.
He points out that the effects of energy production are global, so ‘somewhere else’ can also have major effects locally. Especially in the vicinity of existing wind farms, the possibilities for building additional wind power should be carefully investigated.
“This makes sense in terms of effective use of resources because the same power lines can be used to transfer electricity from multiple turbines to the national grid.”
Ilmatar is a long-term partner
An important phase in the planning of a wind power project for both landowners and municipal decision-makers is open discussion, right from the very beginning of project development. Each party’s wishes and expectations regarding the wind farm should be discussed together with the wind farm operator.
“It is not in anyone’s interest to start planning a project that will eventually fail after years of work because of opposition to the project. When things are discussed openly, worries often turn out to be unfounded. As far as Ilmatar is concerned, it is great that we are also the future owner and operator of the wind farm. In this way, there will be no information gaps between the initial design and implementation,” Mäkinen explains.
Ilmatar Energy Oy is a Finnish energy company that exclusively produces renewable energy and operates at every single stage of wind power production: Ilmatar builds, owns and operates wind and solar farms. The objective is to increase Finnish renewable energy generation capacity by 1 GW by 2027, solely by means of onshore wind power.
Ilmatar’s wind farms are built unsubsidized. Ilmatar owns the wind farms through their complete operational life cycle. Ilmatar Energy sells the electricity it produces to consumers and businesses.
Ilmatar Energy Group includes several project development companies and Ilmatar Service Oy that is responsible for the technical and commercial management of our wind farms.