Project company Ilmatar Virrat Oy, owned by Ilmatar Energy Oy, is planning a wind farm in the area of Tuuramäki on the northwestern border of the city of Virrat and has made a proposal to the city of Virrat for drafting a component master plan to enable building wind turbines. The land-use plan proposal was approved by the Virrat city board on June 20th, 2022. The master plan shall be drafted to include the possibility of applying for wind turbine building permits, in accordance with the Land Use and Building Act, section 77 a.
Ilmatar Energy Oy is a Finnish energy company that develops, builds and operates wind farm sites in Finland. Its purpose is to make the structure of Finnish energy production more environmentally friendly. By 2027, the wind power capacity built and owned by Ilmatar in Finland shall be 1,000 MW. The company aims to build another 1,000 MW after 2027. The produced electricity is delivered to Ilmatar’s corporate clients and consumers.
At the moment, there are wind farms under construction in Kurikka (8 turbines), the Humppila-Urjala area (6 turbines), Somero (4 turbines) and Kristiinankaupunki (9 turbines). The largest Ilmatar project under construction is the Louhukangas and Möksy wind farm in Alajärvi, where a total of 36 turbines will begin producing 216 MW of electricity by the end of 2023.
The initial component master plan for the Tuuramäki wind power project is located on the west side of Seinäjärvi, in the areas of Tuuraneva, Sulkueenneva and Isoneva, and shares the municipal border between Virrat and Seinäjoki in the northwest. The entire development area of Ilmatar’s Tuuramäki wind power project is located in the city of Virrat. The initial land area is approximately 2,790 ha.
Ilmatar is planning a maximum of 15 to 20 turbines in the Tuuramäki wind farm area. One wind turbine has a total rated capacity of approximately 6 to 10 MW (megawatts). The technology of the wind turbines will reflect the technology current at the time of construction. The master plan and the location and number of turbines will be specified in more detail during the land-use planning process and shall consider the reports from the land-use plan and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process along with various statements, opinions and discussions with stakeholders.
The land-use plan area for the Tuuramäki wind power project was designated with a tv1 symbol as a nationally and regionally significant wind production area (Tuuraneva) in the currently valid 2040 Pirkanmaa regional land-use plan, approved in 2017. According to the valid regional land-use plan, it is possible to build ten or more wind turbines in the Tuuramäki land-use plan area. Very important for the production of peat, Eot is another symbol the planning area has been designated with in the currently valid regional land-use plan.
The preliminary investigations of Ilmatar’s Tuuramäki wind power project have been dictated by the minimum distance of 1.5 kilometres required between the planned location of the turbines and the nearest permanent residents or secondary homes. The included map illustrates the area with initial turbine locations that meet this requirement and where wind turbines are thus allowed to be built. For the sake of clarity, it is established that the precise locations of turbines, the final number of turbines and the ultimate component master plan area shall be determined e.g. through the surveys conducted and statements and opinions received during the land-use planning process.
The environmental impact of the project shall be minimised with detailed planning. Ilmatar has requested that the EIA process and the land-use planning of the Tuuramäki wind power project are to be kept separate and that the joint process, made possible by the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure, section 22, is not applied. However, the component master plan process and the EIA process of the Tuuramäki wind power project are integrated in terms of e.g. public events and official procedures.
The Defense Forces have provided a positive statement regarding turbines with a maximum total height of 350 metres. The Defense Forces do not object to the building of the planned turbines in the area of Tuuramäki in Virrat. The statement by the Defense Forces shall remain confidential.
Ilmatar’s general project schedule for the component master plan and the EIA is as follows:
- The participation and assessment scheme and the EIA programme for the component master plan are prepared in the summer and autumn of 2022 and made available to the public in late 2022.
- Any statements and opinions submitted to the participation and assessment scheme and the EIA programme shall be taken into account, and a draft plan and an EIA report shall be prepared. Depending on e.g. any necessary investigations, it is estimated that the report is ready by spring 2023, after which it is made available to the public.
- A proposal for the final plan is then prepared in the latter half of 2023, with any statements and opinions regarding the draft and the EIA report taken into account.
- The approval process of the municipal council is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2024.
- After the plan is approved, building permits are applied for.
- The initial construction phase might start in 2025, which means that the wind farm could be in production in 2027–2028.
- Depending on the progress of technology, a wind farm remains in production for 30 to 40 years on estimate, after which the wind turbine operator disassembles the equipment and landscapes the area. Parallel use of the area (for e.g. forestry, hunting and recreational use) is also permitted when wind turbines are in operation.
Project Development Manager
Ilmatar Energy Oy
+358 50 376 5204