SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION of electricity in a gigantic floating wind farm, tens of kilometres from the coast, is an advanced high-tech process. The wind plants spin under extreme wind conditions in deep waters, but the power produced must still be stably transferred to the grid at the right voltage. Many of the largest offshore wind farms, in the North Sea and Portugal among others, have met the challenge with the help of unique special application transformers, developed and manufactured by ABB Power Grids in Vaasa.
Special application transformers, used particularly for renewable energy production, are oneof the most important products of ABB Power Grids Finland, but the company also has the main responsibility of developing another of ABB Power Grids’ key products, the software program MicroSCADA, which monitors and controls power in various applications for industry, infrastructure, transportation, renewables and electric utilities.
ABB POWER GRIDS Finland started its operations in 2019. At the time of writing, the company is 100 percent owned by ABB but will be divested to another great global player, the Hitachi group during the first half of 2020. Although the company is new, the business lines in Finland stand firmly on a more than century-long tradition in Finnish engineering from precursors Strömberg and ABB.
“Demand for our services and products is driven by, perhaps, the strongest trend in energy production at the moment – the heavily growing need of electricity. Our mission is to shape the future of energy with pioneering technologies as the partner of choice for a stronger, smarter and greener grid”, says CEO Matti Vaattovaara.
TODAY a quarter of the energy in Europe is electricity, but by 2050 the share is expected to be as much as 60 percent. Shifting needs in industry, the transport sector and family households drive the increasing use of electricity, for instance, in the form of the quickly growing number of electric cars and energy-intensive data centres. At the same time, the share of renewable energy sources keeps increasing, as the share of wind and solar power proportionally grows in energy production. From the beginning of the 2000s, installed renewable energy production has grown to over 1,000 gigawatts. This means, that over the past 20 years, wind and solar parks equalling ca 1,000 nuclear power plants in power have globally been taken into use.
“The increased production and consumption of electricity requires infrastructure, and ABB Power Grids’ task is to deliver that infrastructure”, says CEO Matti Vaattovaara.
ABB Power Grids Finland
Business sector: Power technology, grid automation, grid integration
Global turnover: 11 BEUR
Employees: 37,000 (530 in Finland)
Major markets: Worldwide