April 29, 2024

Locality and local acceptance – as important to us as it is to the communities, we are present

Locality and local acceptance are very important when we at Ilmatar realize our projects. That is why we always strive to take an active role in the communities where our wind and solar farms are established. We do this throughout the lifetime of the farms – up to 40 years. This means that landowners, municipal decision-makers, residents and local entrepreneurs can count on us as a reliable partner.

– Community’s acceptance and buy-in are equally important for all parties involved in a large-scale project. It creates a favorable environment for cooperation where we can serve and listen to stakeholders and interest groups, from individual residents to municipal officials. It also allows us to take into consideration the local specificities of each project. This is in line with Ilmatar’s core values, says Jussi Mäkinen, Head of Project Development at Ilmatar.

– We usually reach citizens through open meetings or personal communication with our local project manager. The more formal contacts are made through both statutory and informal channels. Local and regional media are also important for our outreach. 

In addition to statutory public meetings, we also organize more informal gatherings to meet and hear from as many people as possible. We provide information on the current situation and progress, on ongoing studies and on how our projects may affect the local environment and landscape.

Once we have obtained the necessary permits, the construction phase begins, which normally takes about two years. Even during construction, Ilmatar, as the project developer, is actively present and supports the contractors hired, including through continuous communication with all stakeholders about current construction phases. Our projects have a major regional economic impact, which can amount to hundreds of millions of euros, which also has a concrete impact on the national budget. Ilmatar has on several occasions commissioned independent studies on the regional economic impacts, both for onshore and offshore wind power. This is to provide us and other stakeholders with reliable facts to support investment decisions, for example.

Through long-term and reliable work, Ilmatar has over the years secured much-needed foreign investments to Finland. Our activities also increase municipal tax revenues in Finland and generate additional income for landowners through leases, all the way from the early development stages of projects to the end of their lifecycle.

Would you like to read more about Ilmatar’s community engagement? Look at our 2023 Sustainability Review, which you can read here!