Fingrid and the Swedish transmission system operator, Svenska kraftnät, are building a new 400-kilovolt transmission line. The Aurora Line, due for completion in three years’ time, will go from Pyhänselkä, which is at the same latitude as Oulu, to Messaure in Jokkmokk, Sweden.
The Aurora Line will increase the electricity transmission capacity from Finland to Sweden by 900 megawatts and from Sweden to Finland by 800 megawatts.
“We will receive more balancing electricity from Northern Sweden, especially hydro power. The Aurora Line will also support industrial activity that will promote the energy revolution in the region,” says Jussi Jyrinsalo, Senior Vice President at Fingrid.
As the project will benefit Finland first and foremost, Fingrid will bear the majority of the overall costs of the project. The Aurora Line is expected to cost approximately EUR 270 million.
The European Union has stated that the Aurora Line is a Project of Common Interest that will benefit several EU member states in the Baltic Sea region. As such, it granted funding for the planning of the project, and it has just granted EUR 127 million for the construction of the Aurora Line.
Effective cooperation despite different permit procedures
Per Eckemark, Head of Grid Division at Svenska kraftnät, emphasises the regional importance of the Aurora Line.
“Many new electricity producers and consumers will be able to connect to the power grids in the northern parts of Sweden and Finland. Several large wind power projects are planned for Northern Sweden and, among other things, steel industrial plants that do not emit carbon dioxide.”
Eckemark praises the collaboration with Fingrid:
“Working with Fingrid, we have learned to utilise key performance indicators.”
According to Eckemark, the permit procedures for building transmission lines are smoother and faster in Finland than in Sweden. This is partly explained by the fact that in Finland, the new transmission line can be built next to an old line.
The Forest Line will reinforce the internal grid
Large-scale construction will begin on the Aurora Line in autumn 2022.
The execution of the project also requires Finland’s internal grid to be strengthened, as more electricity needs to be taken from the north to the south. This is the rationale behind the Forest Line from the Oulu region to Central Finland.
“The Forest Line will serve Finland’s needs by enabling renewable energy from the north to be transmitted to consumption facilities in the south,” Jyrinsalo points out. Construction work is already underway on the Forest Line. In addition to transmission lines, the project involves building new substations and series capacitor stations, as well as expanding old ones.