The new 30 MW energy storage plant – with a storage capacity of 30 MWh – is located in Yllikkälä, close to the city of Lappeenranta in Southeast Finland. Known as Yllikkälä Power Reserve One, this first roll-out of lithium-ion stationary batteries in Finland underpins Neoen’s leadership in battery-based grid services. The construction for the battery storage unit is on-going.
Customer Manager Antero Reilander from Fingrid says that Neoen inquired – via a consultant – in October 2019, if there would be suitable plot for battery storage facility somewhere in Finland.
“We made a survey of the entire country and quickly focused on Yllikkälä which seemed like a really good fit for Neoen,” Reilander looks back.
Laetitia Prot, International Development Manager at Neoen, says that the Yllikkälä site was proposed by Fingrid to Neoen largely because it was the quickest grid connection infrastructure available in the country (with existing 110kV fully equipped feeder bay).
“It also happens that the location is quite strategic on the 400kV interconnector line going to Russia, so it might also be useful to have the battery there to support the grid frequency in case of a network trip – though this does not happen often,” Prot comments.
From the first contact in last October, wheels started turning very quickly. Specialist Antti Tuovinen from Fingrid provided “boots on the ground” for the project, making sure that the land area was retooled to accommodate Neoen’s needs.
“Normally, a project like this will take about two years from start to finish, but we’ve been moving very fast with this one. After the lease agreement for the plot was signed in December 2019, we’ve been working to get the right equipment on site and are looking forward to link-up to the grid,” Tuovinen says.
Eye on renewables
According to Neoen, the facility is set to play a key role in stabilizing the national electricity system managed by Fingrid. With Yllikkälä Power Reserve One, Neoen aims to establish itself as a leading force in frequency regulation in Finland. Aside from greater reliability and lower electricity grid stabilization costs, the plant will facilitate the integration of future renewable energy projects.
Neoen is no newcomer in Finland, having been active in wind power earlier on, as well. Following the development of the Hedet and Mutkalampi wind farms, Neoen is making yet another big push in the renewable energy market with the addition of the new battery storage unit.
“Yllikkälä is a key project for our company, being the largest of its kind for us in Europe. It is a very good complement to our renewable project developments in Finland,” says Prot.
Antero Reilander comments that while there have been other battery storage projects in Finland, this one is the biggest – by far. Despite the size of the undertaking, the project has proceeded very smoothly indeed.
“It goes to show that once you have the motivation and expertise in place, you can really get things done very effectively, when need be.”
Obviously, stellar collaboration and communication between Neoen and Fingrid is the key reason for such expedient delivery.
“Fingrid has provided efficient support, flexibility and creativity to make this project happen. We are very impressed and happy to work with such nice teams and organization,” says Laetitia Prot.