Wind Wire: Supermarket power

Energy group St1, based in Helsinki, has joined forces with retail giant Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta (SOK) to market electricity produced from jointly owned wind farms in Finland.

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SOK is Finland's biggest operator in supermarkets, department stores, petrol stations and hotels, making it the country's tenth most prolific energy user. St1 and SOK hold equal shares in the joint venture company, TuuliWatti.

Its first project, a 15-30 MW wind farm of five to ten turbines, will be in construction next year. "St1 wanted to combine its resources with SOK's wind power production needs," says St1's Jari Suominen.

SOK has been looking for a suitable renewable energy partner for two years, according to Jari Annala, group vice president. St1's development strategy has been to invest in and operate small industrial-scale wind farms that generate electricity using 2 MW to 3 MW turbines. Generation from the TuuliWatti wind farms will be targeted not just at St1's customer-base, but at SOK's 1.8 million customers, too.

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