3.12.2012 11:00
Power System, Press Releases

Sufficiency of electricity in Finland in the winter depends on imports

The electricity consumption forecast for Finland for the winter of 2012‒2013 is at the same figures as last winter. The peak consumption is estimated to be at 15,000 megawatts. Finland continues to be dependent on electricity imports. Electricity is imported from Sweden, Estonia and Russia to cover the shortfall of 1,700 megawatts. This is revealed by Fingrid’s power balance forecast for the winter period. According to information compiled by the European transmission system operators, more and more countries in other parts of Europe also rely on imported electricity in a peak consumption situation.​
Industrial electricity consumption in Finland has declined slightly from 2011, but other consumption has risen correspondingly. There was a very cold period last winter at the beginning of February, during which period electricity consumption rose to 14,300 megawatts. The consumption forecast for the upcoming winter corresponds to the past winter. The maximum consumption is estimated to rise to 15,000 megawatts.

During peak consumption, the electricity production capacity in Finland is about 13,300 megawatts. The level of production has also remained almost unchanged. A few relatively small thermal power plants and power upgrades in some hydropower plants have been completed, but at the same time some of the older production capacity has been decommissioned. About 100 megawatts of wind power have been completed or are about to be completed, but the forecast presumes that this production is very small in a cold and calm winter day. The poor peat situation may have an impact on the volume of available production capacity.

Finland is dependent on electricity imports during the cold winter period. The import capacity from the neighbouring countries is at the same level as in the previous winter with the exception of the Fenno-Skan 1 connection between Sweden and Finland. This will be out of use for the rest of 2012. Uncertainty is also involved in electricity imports from Russia. Imports on Fingrid’s transmission connections from East have decreased considerably since last autumn as a result of the capacity fees introduced in the Russian electricity market.

There are also concerns over the security of electricity supply in Central Europe due to reasons such as a considerably smaller baseload power volume after Germany decided to close its nuclear power plants. Most European countries still have surplus electricity during peak load situations, but more and more countries, such as France, Denmark, Latvia and Poland, depend on imported electricity.

Fingrid shifts to a model of one control centre

Fingrid moves to new premises in early December. As a result, the company will no longer have two control centres. The Network Control Centre in Hämeenlinna and the Power System Control Centre located in conjunction with the company’s former head office in Helsinki will be merged into the new Main Grid Control Centre. The Main Grid Control Centre will monitor the state of the transmission grid and maintain a power balance between electricity consumption and production.

A single control centre brings with it a number of benefits. The management of transmission system security especially during disturbances is enhanced when the operators work in the same premises. Moreover, the continuity of operations has been ensured by a range of new technical solutions. The approach of a single control centre also improves the communications with the customers and other stakeholders, especially during power system disturbances. The combined control centre will become fully operational in January ‒ February 2013.

Fingrid is arranging a seminar on power system security at the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki today. The seminar discusses the system security of the transmission system and the changing operating environment of system operation. Power system management is becoming more difficult as a result of new forms of energy. An increase in the power of individual electricity generation units also complicates system management.

The presentations given in Fingrid’s system security seminar can be viewed online, as a webcasting on the Internet. The seminar programme will commence at 13.00, and it can be followed online until 16.00 or later as video recordings.

Further information:
Jukka Ruusunen, President & CEO, tel. +358 (0)40 593 8428
Reima Päivinen, Senior Vice President, tel. +358 (0)40 556 2662

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