25.3.2013 15:00
Press Releases, Power System

Fingrid’s new reserve power plant inaugurated in Forssa

The new reserve power plant of Fingrid Oyj, the electricity transmission system operator in Finland, was inaugurated in Forssa today. The plant is the largest reserve power plant in Finland, used for securing the functioning of the Finnish power system in disturbance situations. The plant was completed on schedule in late 2012. Fingrid now has a total of 1,300 megawatts of fast disturbance reserve.
Fingrid’s new reserve power plant features a power of 318 megawatts. The plant is not used for commercial electricity production, but it is only started during disturbance situations of the power system. The reserve power plant can be started by remote control from Fingrid’s Main Grid Control Centre in Helsinki in 15 minutes. The fuel used is light fuel oil.
Fingrid built the reserve power plant in Forssa, a central node of the transmission grid. The operation of the plant consists of the trial operation of each of the two units approximately once a month and of potential use for a real need in the event of disturbances in the power system. In practice, Fingrid’s reserve power plants have been operated for about 10 hours per year.
Three-year project
The construction project for the Forssa reserve power plant took about three years. The contract for the main machinery was signed in March 2010, and construction work at the site commenced in the autumn of 2010. The commissioning testing was carried out during 2012, and from November 2012 the plant has been practically ready to serve as fast disturbance reserve.
The project has been one of the biggest projects in Fingrid’s history. The total construction costs of the project, 111 million euros, stayed well within the budget. The building site was very international, with the workers representing 20 different nationalities. Of the more than 350,000 work hours, Finnish workers accounted for one half.
Fingrid is responsible for the system security of the Finnish power system. This is why plants such as the Forssa facility are maintained to provide fast disturbance reserves. At present, Fingrid has 21 reserve power plant units in various locations in Finland to back up the Finnish power system. The plant completed in Forssa is by far the largest of these. All in all, the disturbance reserve available in Finland now totals 1,300 megawatts.
Festive inaugural ceremonies
Fingrid’s President & CEO Jukka Ruusunen and the Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori gave speeches in the inaugural ceremony. The latter also officially inaugurated the plant.
In his speech, Minister Jan Vapaavuori stressed the importance of the security of supply of electricity to society and ordinary consumers. He also stated that the Government is contributing to the supply security of distribution system operators. The Government bill concerning an amendment to the Electricity Market Act works to this end.
“Increasing the share of renewable energy will create new challenges in the power system. Rapidly fluctuating power generation together with new large power plants will increase the need for generation capacity which can be adjusted quickly. Without adjusting capacity, local disturbances may lead to major disorders or, in the worst case scenario, to the failure of the entire power system. This renders the new power plant in Forssa very important nationally,” said Minister Vapaavuori.
Fingrid’s President and CEO is Jukka Ruusunen also highlighted the importance of a reliable transmission system.
“The Forssa reserve power plant is an important resource which will secure electricity supply to the consumers and ensure the operation of the transmission grid. The project is also related to our capital investment programme of 1.7 billion euros. We use this programme to upgrade and modernise the Finnish grid continuously. The construction projects also contribute to a shift-over towards increasingly self-sufficient and carbon neutral Finland, where a significant portion of electricity is produced from renewable energy,” said Jukka Ruusunen.
Fingrid’s reserve power plant in Forssa
  • needed in situations where electricity generation decreases suddenly because of reasons such as failures at major electricity generating facilities
  • power: 2 x 159 megawatts
  • machinery: two gas turbines and integrated generators and transformers
  • the critical components of the auxiliary systems are duplexed in order to maximise system security
  • start-up: in less than 15 minutes whenever necessary

Further information
Jukka Ruusunen, President & CEO, tel. +358 (0)40 593 8428
Juha Pikkupeura, Project Manager, tel. +358 (0)30 395 4169

Photographs for editorial uses can be found here.