Technical innovations are helping to increase the transmission capacity between Northern and Southern Finland
Fingrid has worked on innovations that will enable a significant increase in the electricity transmission capacity from north to south. Shunt compensation can provide hundreds of megawatts of additional transmission capacity rapidly, cost-effectively and in an environmentally friendly way. The solution will benefit all of Finland, as it will enable the electricity generated in Northern Finland to be transmitted for consumption in the south. It will also ensure that Finland retains a single wholesale electricity price area.
The electrification of society is increasing the demand for electricity, especially in Southern Finland, while more electricity is generated in the north. The share of wind power in the power system production has increased significantly in recent years. Finland’s wind power output is weighted towards Northern Finland, so the country needs effective electricity transmission from the north to the south.
Aiming to keep Finland operating as a single price area
The energy revolution has been faster than expected, and wind power is shifting the nexus of electricity generation towards Northern Finland while old power plants are being shut down in Southern Finland. The increasing volumes of energy generated in the north need to be transmitted to consumption centres in the south without any constraints that could hinder transmission. Fingrid aims to ensure that Finland retains its uniform price area in the electricity wholesale market, and this requires robust transmission connections between the north and the south.
At present, four strong 400-kilovolt transmission lines pass through cross-section Central Finland. in the electricity system of Finland, and the transmission capacity of these lines is now being boosted with the help of shunt compensation.
“Shunt compensation will add hundreds of megawatts of north-to-south transmission capacity without the need to construct a new heavy-duty transmission line. This is good for biodiversity. The project can be executed quickly, cost-effectively and in an environmentally friendly way,” says Timo Kiiveri, Senior Vice President at Fingrid.
Rapid results, moderate costs
Technically, the electrical power that can be transmitted through cross-section Central Finland. is constrained by the quality of the voltage under normal operating conditions at the substations south of the cross-section, as well as variations in the post-fault voltages. The outcome of the development work is that capacitors will be added to the main grid to stabilise the voltage, thereby significantly increasing the transmission capacity through cross-section Central Finland. The project calls for a total investment of around EUR 7 million, and the project will be completed in 2023.
“Shunt compensation will lead to a substantial improvement in electricity transmission capacity. However, it is no substitute for future power line projects and the need to build new substations. A strong main grid is vital for enabling the electrification of industry, heating and transport in line with Finland’s climate goals and handling the significant increase in emission-free electricity generation that this requires. This decade, Fingrid will invest approximately EUR 2 billion in the main grid,” says Kiiveri.
Timo Kiiveri, Senior Vice President, Asset Management, Fingrid, tel. +358 40 543 3039