Grid development and maintenance

We carry out investments and maintenance safely and efficiently at the right time. We build and maintain the main grid for electricity transmission according to a long-term approach to meet the needs of a clean power system. Going forward, Finland will substantially increase the share of wind power in electricity production. It is Fingrid’s duty to ensure that the production capacity can be connected to the power system and the electricity market.

Finland’s main grid is currently undergoing a historic development stage, where the grid construction mainly serves the needs of clean energy production. The main grid is being upgraded both between Finland and Sweden and within Finland along the north–south axis. The Coastal Line from North Ostrobothnia to the Pori area has been completed, the Forest Line from Oulu to Petäjävesi is under construction and doubling the Lake Power Line from North Ostrobothnia to Kuopio is at the planning stage. All the transmission connections to be built are necessary major investments to create the future main grid that will serve as a platform for clean energy.

Fingrid has great appreciation for the importance of grid maintenance. Notable successes in this respect include the excellent maintenance status of Finland’s 90-year-old grid and the advanced age achieved by the Iron Lady, the country’s first transmission line, which was dismantled only recently. Fingrid has been a global trail blazer in maintenance.

By international standards, grid asset management at Fingrid is world-class. The company placed at the top in the International Transmission Asset Management Study (ITAMS) in spring 2019.

Fingrid’s asset management has been certified according to ISO 55001:2014 by Lloyd’s Register Verification Limited. The certification was granted to Fingrid for the first time in 2016, and Lloyd’s Register Verification Limited recertified Fingrid in autumn 2019.

Environment and land use

Fingrid’s land use and environmental policy aims at reduced environmental impacts in all grid investments as well as in grid maintenance. We require commitments in landowner engagement, respect of site-specific environmental values and proper waste and chemical disposal from external grid maintenance contractors and service providers by means of contractual terms, environmental training and audits.

In 2019, the statutory environmental impact assessment (EIA) for grid investments was initiated to reduce environmental impacts and to engage landowners in the projects related to the transmission line between Huittinen and Forssa and the third AC connection to Sweden, between Muhos and Ylitornio. In addition, three environmental assessments were completed. An expropriation permit ruling entitling to the construction and maintenance of the transmission line was received for four projects, the most significant of which was the Forest Line, running for more than 300 kilometres from Central Finland to Oulu. The environment section of this annual report offers more information on environmental and land-use topics.

Image: Finland’s electricity transmission in 2030 

Grid planning on the national and European level

Fingrid’s annual capital expenditure in the main grid ranges roughly from EUR 100 to 150 million. Grid planning requires international and national co-operation between the various parties. A key tool for international grid planning is the European Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) drawn up by ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators of Electricity. The latest TYNDP was published in November 2018. Fingrid was also involved in devising the plan.

Image: Fingrid's capital expenditure in the main grid

The TYNDP contains a lot of information on the Europe-wide ten-year plan for transmission networks. The key items in this plan are the scenarios extending to 2030 and 2040. The plan provides a numerical run-down of the scenarios (production/consumption) and an analysis of the transmission needs called for in the power system on the European level. In addition to the European TSOs’ in-house experts, several industry players and stakeholders were consulted to create the scenarios and a balanced overall assessment.

The Nordic TSOs co-operate closely in the area of grid planning. A Nordic Grid Development Plan drawing on both European grid planning and the national plans was published in the autumn of 2019. The Nordic TSOs have on-going investment projects worth around EUR 15 billion in total by 2028.

The guideline for Finland’s domestic grid planning is Fingrid’s grid vision, which currently extends to 2040. The grid vision is insight into the long-term development needs of the main grid, including follow-up plans for the current projects. The grid vision 2040 discusses several, very different scenarios for the development of electricity production and consumption. The scenarios include various forecasts for factors such as distributed generation, CO2-prices and the number of electric cars. The current grid vision is dominated by a transition from fossil fuels towards electricity production with zero carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon-free production is becoming more and more competitive.

Fingrid published a main grid development plan 2019–2030 in autumn 2019. The development plan sets forth Fingrid’s main grid planning principles, grid development needs and planned investments for the next 10-year period. Taking a long-term approach to grid development ensures that the transmission network as well as the entire system meet the requirements set for them in a changing environment – enabling the main grid to continue to serve the customer and society in future.

Fingrid successful in ITAMS

Fingrid successful in ITAMS

Fingrid again enjoyed an excellent ranking in the International Transmission Asset Management Study (ITAMS). ITAMS evaluates the efficiency of TSOs’ asset management. The study has been carried out five times, and Fingrid has placed at the top each time. Fingrid focusses especially on making use of digitalisation, which is one factor behind the good success in the study.

Image: Asset management performance vs. operative performance vs. total costs €/total length of transmission lines. In the figure, red colour means that not all necessary data was available, while the different shades of grey do not stand for something significant. The size of the circles refers to the length of transmission lines. Image source UMS Group.