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An international career came as a positive surprise

For Planning Manager Ritva Hirvonen, work has been both a lifestyle and a hobby. She retired in the summer, but continues to work at Fingrid as an hourly employee.

Ritva Hirvonen is satisfied. The European intraday market, or XBID, was launched in June. Hirvonen was involved as Fingrid’s representative in the project’s Steering Committee. The project was intense and lasted almost eight years in total.

Hirvonen has worked with European legislation and network codes at Fingrid for all of the 2010s. Among other things, she led the Market Integration Working Group at ENTSO-E.

”Some of the most important projects included the launch of the European day ahead market in 2014 and the developmentand implementation of the network code for capacity allocation and congestion management,” says Hirvonen.

Hirvonen came to Fingrid from Imatran Voima in 1997, when the transmission system operator was first set up. She then spent ten years working at VTT and the Energy Market Authority. She returned to Fingrid in 2010.

Compromises are necessary on the electricity markets

When Hirvonen studied power engineering in the 1970s, there was no indication of Finland’s future EU membership and European electricity markets. International tasks have therefore been kind of an extra bonus to an interesting career.

”I began to see things from a European perspective as a result of my work at ENTSO-E and previous work with European organisations of regulatory authorities,” says Hirvonen.

She agrees that the challenges faced by the European Union are also visible on the electricity markets. Leading work groups has been a learning experience. At times, drawing up common network codes has been difficult since member countries’ electricity markets are in different stages. You don’t always know, for example, whether an opinion is affected by a national perspective, or by something else.

”If you aren’t willing to make compromises and understand others, it will be difficult to develop common European  markets,” she says.

Hirvonen believes that the power system and electricity markets are currently undergoing a period of transformation. She believes it’s important for market rules to be adjusted to correspond to changes taking place in the power system.

Retirement isn’t boring

Hirvonen is continuing work at Fingrid as an hourly employee.

”I will be a temp worker. I can most likely make use of my skills with the European electricity markets and network operations in my tasks.”

But there is still time for Hirvonen’s hobbies, such as reading, listening to music, photography, spending time outdoors, and crafting. Her family farm keeps her busy from spring to autumn.

Hirvonen advises  younger generation to be interested in a wide range of things. If you’re active, you can make a difference.

”Sometimes it pays off to behave differently than we Finns are used to, and stand up and have your say at a meeting. We have competence and it must be highlighted. You also have to know how to listen, because that’s how you learn from others.”


Planning Manager Ritva Hirvonen has handled international assignments in the areas of legislation and network codes. She is now retiring, but the company will continue to benefit from her expertise as a “seasonal employee”.