18.3.2014 12:00
Press Releases, Power System

Electricity produced on the western coast will soon run along a new line

An extensive network investment programme is under way in the Ostrobothnia electricity transmission network. The 220 kilovolt network was mostly constructed the 1970s and has become insufficient with regard to capacity. It will be entirely replaced with a new network. All in all, a 400 kilovolt ring network from Pori to Oulu, five new distribution substations and 350 kilometres of 400 kilovolt power lines will be completed in Ostrobothnia by 2017.
The development of the Ostrobothnia electricity transmission network began in 2007 and is comprised of three wide-reaching projects: a 400 and 110 kilovolt power line connection from Seinäjoki to Vaasa and a new transformer substation to Nivala were completed in 2011. A 400 kilovolt power line from Pori to Kristinestad is under construction and will be completed this year. Lastly, a 400 kilovolt power line connection from Kokkola to Muhos will be completed.  Once ready, the western coast will transition to using a 400 kilovolt voltage.
At the end of 2012, Fingrid made an investment decision on one of the largest alternating current connection investments in its history.  The construction of the connection between transformer substations in Hirvisuo and Pyhänselkä in Muhos is a significant part of the development of the Ostrobothnian network. The project's planning and tender phase is under way and construction work will begin in summer.
Fingrid's project supports Finland's energy and climate strategy. The project will create preconditions for the connection of new wind and nuclear power generation to the network. The new transmission connection will also improve capacity between north and south and improve the possibilities of keeping Finland as a single pricing area. The line will offer a flexible opportunity to connect wind power to the network: the decision has been made to construct a wind power connection station at Siikajoki along the power line route, and a new connection station is being planned in the Kalajoki area.
- The potential for wind power along the Ostrobothnian coast is several thousand megawatts. In Finland just 150 megawatts of wind power are currently in use, with another 250 under construction. The amount will undergo continuous growth as zoning plans and permits are dealt with. The new power line is a response to the needs of local actors and Finnish energy policies, and will be completed at the same time as major energy projects in the area, says Fingrid's Executive Vice President Kari Kuusela.
The construction of the wide-reaching power line project has required strict planning and willingness to listen to the views of various parties and to seek optimal, alternative solutions for different parties.  Planning has taken into consideration consumption, new production, electricity markets and the load capacity of the existing, outdated network. The route, which travels along the western coast, was selected so that it would benefit as many parties as possible.
According to Kuusela, it is of primary importance to think far into the future when dealing with network solutions.
- The choices we make will not rule out any production or consumption alternatives. We are constructing a network for decades to come, which will remain functional despite any changes in electricity production, Kuusela explains of the massive project.
Project facts:
Total length of power line 212 kilometres
Three project phases
1) Hirvisuo-Kalajoki, 79 kilometres, due for completion 2015
2) Kalajoki-Siikajoki, 62 kilometres, due for completion 2016
3) Siikajoki- Pyhäselkä, 71 kilometres, due for completion 2016
The project also includes:
The construction of a 400/110 kV transformer and series capacitor at Hirvisuo
Expansion of 400 kV switchgear at Tuovila
Expansion of 400 kV switchgear at Pyhäselkä
Implementation of Ostrobothnia's 220 kV lines at a voltage of 110 kV 
Overall completion is due in 2017
The total investment costs are EUR 110 million, with an overall total of 250 million euros being invested into the development of the Western Finland network.
The project's construction of distribution substations and power lines adds up to several hundred man-years of labour on construction sites.

(The map only in Finnish)
Further information:
Kari Kuusela, Executive Vice President, tel. +358 (0)30 395 5129
Specialist Antero Reilander, tel. +358 30 395 4199