EPV Energy produces about 5 percent of the electricity used in Finland. The company invests heavily in the production of renewable energy and almost 80 percent of the energy produced is carbon-free. The objective of EPV is to further increase the production of carbon-free energy, and wind power plays an important role in achieving this goal.
“EPV has been one of the pioneers in the production of wind power in Finland and we were able to foresee the crucial role of wind power to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a very early stage,” says Frans Liski, Vice President of EPV’s carbon-free production.
The subsidiary EPV Windpower was established in 2007 to focus on wind power projects.
During 2014–2017, EPV Windpower built several new wind farms with a total capacity close to 300 MW in Ostrobothnia region. One of the farms is the Metsälä wind farm in Kristiinankaupunki. There are 34 wind turbines built, which will generate more than 400,000 MWh of electricity per year.
The latest wind turbines to be built are larger than the previous ones; the wind turbines built at Metsälä are 142 metres in height with a rotor diameter of 136 metres. According to Liski, the increase in the size has a substantial impact on the profitability of wind power.
“Recent advances in technology have made it possible to produce more cost-effective wind power, since the larger size has significant impact to the amount of energy produced.”
Because the good winds in Finland are generally at high altitudes especially in forest areas the increased hub-height is particularly important.
EPV’s owners are mainly domestic energy companies and the company generates energy for its shareholders according to a non-profit principle. The long-running operating model has enabled large energy projects and low production costs. EPV’s long-term objective has been to make wind power profitable, even without subsidies, and according to Liski, that objective is now close to being realised.
“The contribution of wind power to energy production has been increasing steadily, both in EPV’s operations and in general, but the recent changes in competitiveness have been huge.”