Finland money

Wind-solar power plant receives €20 million state aid in Finland

Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has awarded €19.5 million ($19.3 million) for a hybrid power plant project combining wind, solar and 25 MW/50 MWh battery storage.

The government body is providing financing to Independent Power Producer (IPP) Ilmatar Energy for the construction of renewable energy parks in the Alajärvi and Kyyjärvi regions, at a total cost of €314.8 million.

A wind farm in Alajärvi will consist of 36 wind turbines totaling 216 MW of power, at a construction cost of 217 million euros. The company said this part of the project was not receiving any subsidies and construction had already begun.

The solar panel will have a capacity of 150 MWp with a 25 MW/50 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), lasting two hours. These two assets constitute the remaining 97.8 million euros of the project investment.

The company was less clear on when the solar and storage project will be built, saying the “planning phase of the project” will kick off in early 2023.

The project is in line with Finland’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, the EU-wide initiative to help member states recover from the effects of the Covid pandemic, meaning it is qualified for the aid program. The program also aims to reduce the technological and economic risks of renewable energies and new energy technologies, to accelerate the green transition and to reduce dependence on energy imports from Russia.

Juha Sarsama, CEO of Ilmatar, said, “The hybrid park project will use the electrical infrastructure built for wind power in the park area. Combining different energy generation and storage solutions will bring significant synergy benefits, improving both land use and equipment utilization. Solar power and wind power also directly balance each other – strong winds often occur when the sun is not shining, while the air is often still in sunny weather.

Finland has a growing range of wind farms and BESS projects can help balance their wide variability, although it is unclear whether the two assets are directly connected in Ilmatar’s project.

The country has recently distinguished itself in the energy storage space for non-lithium-ion projects, including a sand-based thermal energy storage system that made headlines around the world. In March, it was announced that a processing plant for vanadium, the mineral that is integral to vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB), would open in 2024.