The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE) has granted EUR 19.5 million in aid to Ilmatar Energy Oy for the implementation of a renewable energy hybrid park. The renewable energy park to be built in the areas of Alajärvi and Kyyjärvi will be a considerable size by Finnish and European standards. It will generate wind and solar power and have a high energy storage capacity.
Ilmatar is already well into the process of building a large-scale wind farm in Alajärvi. The farm will comprise 36 wind turbines and have a capacity of 216 MW. The new project that was granted aid will add a new industrial scale solar farm in the immediate vicinity of the wind farm. The solar farm will have a capacity of 150 MWp and a 50 MWh battery storage offering flexibility. Combined, these two farms will form the largest renewable energy hybrid park in Finland.
The total budget of the solar and battery farm projects are EUR 97.8 million. The Alajärvi wind farm, which will be built under market conditions and without subsidies, is an investment of 217 million euros.
– We’re very proud of the fact that the EU and MEAE are supporting Ilmatar Energy in this hybrid park project, which represents new thinking, as well as our national level goal of establishing a completely fossil-free energy system in Finland. This aid will allows us to carry out the project swiftly in one go and on a large scale, says Juha Sarsama, CEO of Ilmatar.
– The hybrid park project will make use of the electrical infrastructure built for wind power in the park area. The combination of different energy generation and storage solutions will bring significant synergy benefits, enhancing both land use and the use of equipment. Solar power and wind power also directly balance each other – strong winds often occur when the sun doesn’t shine, while the air is often still during sunny weather, Sarsama continues.
In total, the wind and solar farms of Alajärvi and Kyyjärvi will have a capacity of 366 MW, which will cover the electricity needs of 370,000 two-room apartments in Finland. Batteries will provide the park with 25 megawatts of flexible capacity. The park will be one of the largest sources of renewable energy in Northern Europe.
The project will implement a set of flexible and smart energy systems, allowing energy to be stored for periods of low energy generation. Storage balances the variation in the output of renewable energy and improves cooperation with the owner of the transmission network.
In addition to its own staff, Ilmatar Energy will also employ a considerable number of subcontractors from South Ostrobothnia, Central Finland and other parts of Finland through the project. The project planning phase will be launched at the beginning of 2023.
Ilmatar Energy Oy’s project is part of an aid scheme of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the EU. The purpose of the aid scheme is to promote energy investment and energy infrastructure projects that are in line with Finland’s Recovery and Resilience Plan and aim to reduce Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions and support Finland’s carbon neutrality goals. Another purpose of the aid scheme is to reduce the technological and economic risks of renewable energy and new energy technology, thereby speeding up the green transition away from fossil fuels and dependency on energy imports from Russia.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE) has particularly granted aid to projects that meet the following criteria: the project has a significant positive impact on energy generation and emissions; the project can be carried out swiftly and cost-effectively; the project operator is able to make use of new technology in the project; and the project includes the development of methods that can be used to enhance the implementation of similar projects in the future.
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Founded in 2011, Ilmatar is a Finnish energy company and an independent power producer that focuses exclusively on renewable energy. Ilmatar Energy’s operations include the development, construction and maintenance of renewable energy solutions, as well as electricity sales to consumers and businesses. Ilmatar owns its projects for their entire life cycle, which can be up to 40 years