9.5.2019 16:19
Current News, Electricity Market, International News

The search for partners for a flexible resources project starts

Fingrid has started to prepare a cross-border flexible resources project in cooperation with Estonia’s transmission system operator Elering AS and Åland’s transmission system operator Kraftnät Åland. The aim of the project is to promote the integration of renewable energy into the grid and increase the flexibility of the power system through investments in flexible resources and smart grid solutions. The project will comprise three parts: the development of cross-border transmission links to enable a cross-border flexible market, the implementation of flexible resource and smart grid investments, as well as the implementation of flexible market platforms and related integrations. The project will comprise four phases: applying for a Smart Grid PCI (Project of Common Interest) status, establishing a project consortium for the CEF funding application process, as well as the two main phases of the actual project: the technical design phase and the implementation phase.

Fingrid is looking for partners in Finland for a project whose first objective is to obtain PCI (Project of Common Interest) status granted to smart grid investment projects from the EU Commission by the end of the year. Projects with PCI status can apply for financial support for smart grid investments and related investigations via the funding application processes of CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) Energy. Following the potential granting of PCI status at the end of the year, the project parties must undertake to establish a consortium through which the parties can apply for financial support for the investigations and investments associated with the project. In PCI projects, the project-specific level of support is up to 50% of eligible costs. In other respects, the partners must bear the financial risk associated with the investments. Fingrid will act as the coordinator of the project with regards to communications with the EU Commission.

The technical design phase of the project is scheduled to start in the spring of 2020 with the aim of defining the technical requirements and solutions which, on the one hand, enable flexible resources to provide different types of services for the management needs of the power grid and, on the other, make it possible to integrate resources into flexible market platforms in order to provide services for various operators. The implementation phase of the project is scheduled to start in the autumn of 2021 and will last for two to three years. Regarding the project phase, the project schedule will be specified once the project parties and the schedule of future CEF Energy funding application processes have been confirmed.

Applications are particularly welcome from stakeholders who are connected or are planning to connect to Fingrid’s grid or the grids of Fingrid’s customers in the next few years and who are planning investments in order to utilise smart grid solutions, either to enable the integration of renewable resources into the grid or to support the security of supply of sites with high consumption of electricity. As one of the key requirements for PCI status is that the investment project subject to the application must have a significant cross-border impact on EU Member States, flexible resource projects with as large a capacity as possible, at least 1 MW and 1 MWh, are being sought for the project. Taking into account the prerequisites for PCI status, it is also considered a notable advantage if one or more of the following areas can be significantly advanced with projects similar to the investment to be implemented in the project in the near future:

  • connectivity of variable renewable energy production methods to the grid
  • availability of flexible resources for the various needs of power system management or congestion management 
  • cooperation between transmission system and distribution system operators

The applicant shall describe or submit in their application the following areas related to the project:

1)      basic information on the applicant/applicants incl. extract from the Trade Register

2)      description of the investment project, basic project information incl. project background, schedule and objectives

3)      investment target/targets and related key technical information incl. investment location and connection to the distribution or transmission system

4)      description of the project’s key benefits and estimate of the magnitude of the benefits in relation to investment costs

5)      description of the project’s key cost components, cost structure and schedule

6)      estimate of the potential of the flexible resource to be implemented in the project and the associated smart grid concept in terms of local, regional and international usability

The key parts of the information should be entered on the application form [attached]. In addition to the form, attachments in free format can be submitted as part of the application.

Fingrid will evaluate the applications taking into account the requirements and objectives set for Smart Grid PCI status. Fingrid will primarily use the following criteria in the evaluation:

1)      the suitability of the investment project for a flexible resources project, the active power, reactive power and energy capacity of the investment, as well as the technical capability of the investment to produce various flexible resource services (e.g. various reserves)

2)      the applicant’s experience of similar projects, e.g. research and development projects related to smart grids or smart grid pilots

3)      the applicant’s ability and willingness to commit

  1. to establish a project consortium for the CEF funding application process following a potential Smart Grid PCI status decision
  2. to the technical design phase required by the nature of the project (estimate 06/2020–06/2021)

4)      impact on the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid or supporting the security of supply of sites with high consumption of electricity

  1. direct impact taking into account the investment to be undertaken in the project
  2. indirect impact taking into account the national, regional and international potential of the services and solutions to be implemented in the project in terms of the above-mentioned factors (time span 2022–2025)

5)      the number of functionalities associated with managing the transmission and distribution system, as well as maintaining operational reliability in the project, and the applicant’s willingness to commit to the development of those functionalities during the project’s design phase

Applications must be submitted by e-mail no later than Monday 27th May, 2019 to tuomas.rauhala[at]fingrid.fi.

Fingrid will notify applicants who submitted an application of the results no later than week 24.

Further information about the project and application process:

Unit Manager Tuomas Rauhala, Fingrid, tel. +358 30 395 5197

Application > (attached)

General level depiction of phases and schedule > (attached)

Link to previous bulletin > (in Finnish) 

Information about the Smart Grid Project of Common Interest status > 

Information about Connection Europe Facility funding > 

*) Definition of variable renewable energy production methods according to PCI: Variable renewable power plants rely on resources that fluctuate on a timescale of seconds to days, and do not include some forms of integrated storage (e.g. wind power, wave and tidal power, run-of-river hydropower, and solar photovoltaics) (International Energy Agency, 2008)