Completed and ongoing projects

Transmission lines and substations were built extensively throughout Finland in 2019. A total of approximately 150 kilometres of new transmission lines were built and 12 new or expanded substations were completed.

Image: Substation and transmission line projects

Double redundancy for Fingrid’s Olkiluoto substation

The Olkiluoto substation’s ageing 400 kilovolt switching station at Eurajoki was replaced by two separate switching stations. The changes improved the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant units’ grid connection reliability, ensuring that the units can supply electricity to the system with no disturbances. Two new switchyard sections were commissioned in June 2019. The switchyard section was demolished, and the two switchyard sections were interconnected through autumn 2019. The work was completed in November 2019.

Iron Lady II commissioned

The focus of our capital investment programme in recent years has been on rebuilding the first transmission line in Finland, more than 90 years old, originally built in the 1920s and dubbed the ‘Iron Lady’. The new transmission line will replace the old transmission line connection and reinforce the grid. The construction of the Iron Lady complex was focused on the 400 + 110 kilovolt transmission line between Hikiä and Orimattila and its last remaining section, between Hikiä (Hausjärvi) and Metsämarttila (Kärkölä). The Iron Lady II complex was completed in its entirety in December 2019.

Forest Line: a giant effort with six sub-projects

In compliance with the Finnish government’s policy programme, the percentage of wind power in Finland’s energy production mix will substantially increase. We have for several years prepared to connect more wind power to the power system by systematically upgrading the grid. Fingrid’s most significant and largest project is called the Forest Line, which runs from Oulu to Petäjävesi. The connection will increase the transmission capacity along the north–south axis, and it will be completed in its entirety in 2019–2022. The construction project has been divided into six separate subprojects, for which procurement agreements were made during 2019.

The Forest Line will help us to significantly increase the north–south transmission capacity. It will help keep Finland as a single price area and enable clean power production to be linked to the grid.

Third AC interconnection with Sweden to improve transmission reliability

A third AC connection (RAC3) between Finland and Sweden which is important for the Nordic electricity market has proceeded as planned, in co-operation with Sweden’s TSO. The transmission line from northern Finland to northern Sweden has proceeded to the environmental impact assessment stage. In 2019, the project received more than EUR 4 million in financial support from the EU for the technical assessment phase. The cross-border transmission connection is due for completion in 2025.

Pernoonkoski substation will enter the digital age

We will build a digital substation at Pernoonkoski, in Kotka, in a bid to gain experience in the utilisation of a digital fieldbus in the substation environment. Our aim is to create a digitalised substation that is safe, environmentally sustainable, remote controlled and provides excellent cost effectiveness both in terms of capex and operational costs. The Pernoonkoski substation is due for completion in 2020.

A digital substation requires less copper cabling, cable tray systems and smaller buildings than a conventional substation. The decreased material consumption provides tangible benefits in terms of lower environmental impacts from the equipment production and material transports.

The digital substation system is automatically monitored, which substantially decreases the need for equipment maintenance and visits to the substation. The customers benefit from digitalised substations in the form of better availability and increased reliability of the equipment.

Construction of the new Imatra substation begins

The construction of Fingrid’s new Imatra substation related to Iron Lady II is underway next to the Imatra hydropower plant. The construction will be carried with due respect for the historic protected milieu. The original buildings of the Imatra hydropower plant, which have architectural-historical value and are protected by the municipal master plan, are located next to the substation. The new substation will be commissioned in autumn 2020.

Upgrading power supply to Tampere

Tampereen Sähköverkko, Elenia and Fingrid are together upgrading the Tampere area’s electricity network. The city of Tampere’s own electricity production is decreasing, while the region consumes more and more electricity along with the economic growth stoked by the city’s attractiveness as a business location. Tampereen Sähköverkko (TSV), Elenia and Fingrid drew up a joint electricity network development plan for the area in 2019, as a result of which Tampere will receive a 110-kilovolt transmission line to meet the area’s electricity needs. The transmission line will be built in 20192020. The solution jointly developed by the three companies is cost-effective and has minimal environmental impacts.

Development on the Oulujoki river linked with the construction of the Lake Line

We are modernising the grid around the river Oulujoki, which was built in the 1950s and is approaching the end of its service life. Two substations will be replaced, one substation will be expanded, and a new transmission line will be built.

The grid development measures have been planned in close co-operation with the local electricity producers and regional distribution network companies. The local electricity production mainly consists of hydropower, while new wind power projects are also planned to boost the existing wind power production. 

The upgrades will change the regional grid voltage from 220 to 110 kilovolts. Voltage compatibility with the rest of the grid will enable a simpler and, from a systemic point of view, more efficient grid structure. 

The transmission line, to be completed with 400 + 110-kilovolt structures, is an important long-term component in reinforcing the planned 400-kilovolt transmission line towards eastern Finland, the so-called Lake Line. The second stage of this project will entail a transfer of the operations of the Pyhäkoski substation to the new Pyhänselkä substation.

Transmission solution for Helsinki proceeding

We continue to be involved in securing the Helsinki region’s electricity supply with a new type of operating model under development, where the City of Helsinki, the region’s distribution network company Helen Sähköverkko and Fingrid collaborate to carry out an infrastructure project that will serve the Helsinki region’s electricity supply and facilitate land use. In connection with this, Fingrid is preparing to build a new 400 kilovolt cable link from Länsisalmi in Vantaa to Viikinmäki, with plans to have it up and running already in the latter half of the 2020s.

Based purely on the electricity production and consumption predictions for the Helsinki and Vantaa area, the new 400-kilovolt cable link would be needed by around 2035. However, Fingrid is prepared to speed up the construction of the new grid cable link and the new Viikinmäki transformer substation if the City of Helsinki and Helen Sähköverkko are willing to share the costs entailed by an accelerated schedule. The parties’ common goal is to carry out the regional electricity network projects in a way that is compatible with urban development projects during the 2020s.

During the year under review, Fingrid, the City of Helsinki and Helen Sähköverkko together drew up a review of the specified transmission solution, based on which detailed planning can be started. In addition, the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment ruled in spring 2019 that no EIA is necessary for the 400-kilovolt cable link project in Helsinki.

Main grid turns 90

Main grid turns 90

Finland’s main grid turned 90 on 16 January 2019: the first high-voltage transmission line, between Imatra and Turku, was started up in 1929. The main grid of the future will serve as a platform for a clean, emissions-free power system.

Finland’s main grid was effectively built in four waves. The construction of large-scale transmission of electricity, marking also the beginning of the main grid, was started at the Imatra hydropower plant to provide a supply of electricity to industry and households in the late 1920s. The second wave was the construction of transmission connections from the Oulujoki and Kemijoki rivers, in the north of Finland, to meet the needs of growing metalworking and woodworking industries during the decades after the Second World War. The third wave of grid investments took place in the 1970s, when new hydropower resources available for harnessing became scarce and large coal-powered and nuclear power plants emerged as new sources of electricity. In the on-going fourth wave, Fingrid has extensively increased and upgraded grid capacity throughout the country as well as created cross-border interlinks to the neighbouring countries to serve the electricity markets and particularly clean production, in other words nuclear and wind power.