Finland needs more balancing capacity

FINLAND: More balancing power capacity is needed to cope with the forecast deviations and production variations of wind power, according to a new future market assessment report by Finland's transmission system operator, Fingrid.

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Finland needs to put in place power balancing capacity systems to accommodate the expected increase in wind power production, says the report.

"The management of the power system will become more complicated in Finland as production structures turn more to renewable power generation," says Jukka Ruusunen, Fingrid's president.

"Wind power production depends on weather conditions, and more regulating power capacity is needed for balance and to adjust to the forecast deviations and production variations of wind power." Fingrid aims to connect 2GW of new wind power capacity to the grid by 2020.

According to Fingrid, an additional 2GW of wind power will require preparations for a power correction of around 500MW.

"This can be managed through existing reserve capacity," says Ruusunen. "Large-scale changes only take place rarely and the change in wind power can be compared to other types of production disturbances.

However, if the amount of wind power exceeds 2GW this will require significant additional investments in reserve power and regulating power."

Fingrid expects to invest EUR2 billion in the next decade reinforcing and renovating the Finnish grid - a capital sum equivalent to roughly half the replacement value of the present grid.

Around 40% of this relates to projects to accommodate the power balancing needs of wind-generated energy. The investment will also accommodate Olkiluoto 3, the 1.6GW reactor under construction for Teollisuuden Voima (TVO), due to be commissioned in 2012.

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