Fingrid is responsible for maintaining an instantaneous balance between Finland’s electricity generation and consumption – known as balance management – as well as managing and rapidly recovering from disturbances.
Disturbances in the electricity network are caused by problems such as a faulty transmission link or a power plant going offline.
Disturbance reserve is called upon in situations like these, firstly with capacity from the balancing power market, and only then from reserve power.
The reserve power plants rarely need to be started up, and even then, Fingrid typically uses one or, at most, a few of them for about an hour at a time. In the event of a nationwide electricity shortage, a lot more reserve power may be needed.
Disturbance reserve is dimensioned in such a way that it is enough to cover the power shortfall resulting from the failure of the largest power plant unit or the largest transmission link in the power system at any given moment.
Fingrid owns nine reserve power plants, and it has right-of-use agreements with a further five power plants. These are not used for commercial electricity generation.
A startup reliability rate of approximately 90 per cent is maintained at the reserve power plants. This readiness is upheld thanks to correctly dimensioned maintenance and tested by trial runs that each unit undergoes every six weeks.
Fingrid has an agreement with a third-party supplier for the maintenance of its power plants.
Reserve power can be activated quickly
In 10 minutes, 500 MW can be online.
In 15 minutes 1,200 MW can be online.
Every reserve power plant is tested and undergoes a trial run every 6 weeks.