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Alert in the energy market transformation

Fingrid’s strategic projects strengthen the company’s target of remaining agile during the energy market transformation and safeguarding power system functionality in a reliable way. The company’s fast, new investments over a 5–10 year time window are aimed at proactively addressing the challenges of the global clean-up project
Fingrid’s strategy questions were answered by HRD Specialist Riina Korpi (from the left), Senior Advisor Risto Lindroos, Senior Vice President, Markets, Asta Sihvonen-Punkka and Chief Financial Officer Jan Montell.

By nature, strategic projects are general guidelines and practical actions. President & CEO Jukka Ruusunen emphasises the equal value of the projects.
“The change projects function alongside our development-oriented strategy for continuous improvement. Fingrid’s management is based on a solid balance in which finances, internal processes, personnel and competence are managed in balance,” says Ruusunen.

Climate change is increasing the pressure for renewal in the energy industry.
“As a monopoly, we have a societal responsibility to maintain and develop energy market infrastructure to ensure that the power system also functions reliably as decentralised energy production becomes more common,” continues Ruusunen.
The implementation of strategic projects is also an important internal learning process for Fingrid.

“The projects are mutually dependent by nature, which means that close cooperation between different experts and teams is essential. Our organisation is eliminating internal silos and strengthening team work. Strategic projects highlight our competence more effectively inside the company and among customers and stakeholders.”

Nordic real-time market anticipates the future

The Nordic real-time market development project is a step towards a new kind of power system as the amount of alternative energy production increases and the share of adjustable production decreases. The goal for the future is to ensure that market actors can participate in power system balancing to a greater extent than earlier and also trade in nearly real time.
“We’re working with the other Nordic TSOs to develop a joint balancing model, which ensures that production and consumption are balanced in the renewing power system. The physical changes have to go hand-in-hand with the market. They can’t go in different directions,” says Senior Vice President Asta Sihvonen-Punkka.

As renewable forms of energy become more common, weather-dependent fluctuation will increase and adjustability will decrease. This will also put pressure on the principles of trading. Electricity trade is moving from a 1-hour market time period to 15 minutes, which will take the quick power variations of solar and wind power into better consideration and provide a price signal for electricity consumption flexibility. The switch to 15 minutes has been accelerated by European legislation.

Along with developing the Nordic market, steps are being taken towards joint European balancing markets where European platforms will enable trading in the 2020s.
“We want to encourage our stakeholders to consider the change needs in the electricity market and involve them in development work. We also want to test new solutions that utilise the market. For example, this is what we’ve done in pilots related to reserve market aggregate models and publishing balancing power prices. The solutions have been implemented based on the experience gained through testing,” says Sihvonen-Punkka.

Data governance and productivity

Digitalisation is a common denominator in many of Fingrid’s strategic projects. Renewal of the company’s data management and IT architecture will accumulate added value in many directions. A more scalable and open digital platform has allowed Fingrid to successfully implement development projects, trim its internal operating culture and promote cooperation with stakeholders.
“In the future, data will be an asset as important as people and money. Diverse utilisation of data is the third pillar of our business. We need to know how to lead and manage information with the same level of expertise as our other business,” says Chief Financial Officer Jan Montell.

The new digital platform will give our personnel access to more efficient analytics tools that are independent of time, place or terminal device.
“Having the essential data available to everyone at the right time will provide better decision-making and more forward-looking, analytical planning,” says Montell.

Azure cloud services and a data storage compiled from company and external databases will allow for higher quality analyses and the development of new services by combining, for example, the company’s own public data with data available from the electricity exchange. Fingrid’s digital ecosystem, which is based on open API interfaces, also increases cooperation with the company’s stakeholders.
“Opening the interfaces allows us to offer new application possibilities to, for example, start-up companies,” says CIO Kari Suominen.

Data security is a critical factor in terms of digital service platform reliability. According to Suominen, significant investments are being made in data security, for example, with user and data management specifications.
In addition to data analysis, Fingrid’s digital service platform promotes the Nordic real-time market, the My Fingrid -service and development of the digital substation project.
“Now the digital substation condition information obtained via sensor measurements is available for use quickly,” continues Suominen.

In Fingrid’s smart grid projects, digital service platforms bring flexibility to the power system and allow consumers to also participate in the electricity market via a service provider in the future. At the same time, centralising information exchange will improve the flow of information between the transmission system operator and service providers and consumers.
“Along with our own smart grid projects, we are actively involved in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s Smart grid working group, which has discussed a cost-effective structure for a smart power system. The working group will publish its final report at the end of this year,” says Senior Advisor Risto Lindroos.