The new 400-kilovolt transmission line between Finland and Sweden will increase the transmission capacity from Finland to Sweden by approximately 900 megawatts and the capacity from Sweden to Finland by approximately 800 megawatts. The Aurora Line will strengthen the electricity connection between Finland and the other Nordic countries and indirectly benefit the Baltic Sea region as a whole.
“We need a third cross-border connection because there has not been enough transmission capacity from Northern Sweden to Finland for the last decade or more. Electricity has been cheaper in Sweden than in Finland, and we want to reduce this price difference. Finnish electricity consumers will be the clear beneficiaries of the new connection, as the price of electricity will decrease and the security of supply will improve,” says Mikko Heikkilä, Head of Strategic Grid Planning at Fingrid.
The Aurora Line will improve the main grid’s fault tolerance and enable more renewable energy to be used.
“We can receive more balancing electricity generated using hydroelectric power from Northern Sweden. There are plans for hydrogen industry at the far end of the Bay of Bothnia, on the Finnish side and the Swedish side. The area already has a lot of wind power generation, and more will be built. The Aurora Line will support the coordination of these business areas and contribute to the energy transition.”
The Aurora Line will be completed in 2025
The project’s environmental impact has been assessed, and Fingrid is currently applying to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for a permit to build the cross-border line. The final permit phase is also underway in Sweden.
As the project will be more beneficial to Finland, Fingrid will cover almost all the costs of the project. However, it may be possible to receive funding from the EU.
“The EU has stated that this is a Project of Common Interest that will benefit several EU member states in the Baltic Sea region. The EU granted approximately EUR 4.3 million in funding under the Connecting Europe Facility for the design stage of the project. We are now applying for EU funding for the construction phase. The total cost of the project is estimated at EUR 270 million. Grants can be awarded for up to half of the total investment. We have discussed the matter with local representatives and actors in Brussels, and we have spread the word about the project,” Heikkilä says.
The grant application was filed in October, and the EU’s grant decision should be received in early 2022.
“The Aurora Line is Fingrid’s most important investment of the 2020s. Construction will begin next year, and the connection will be completed by the end of 2025.”
The connection will cross the Arctic Circle, and the name Aurora Line refers to the northern lights, Aurora borealis. Fingrid will be responsible for the construction project in Finnish territory, and Svenska kraftnät will be responsible for construction in Sweden.