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VEO’s expertise strengthens the Finnish reserve market

VEO engages in active dialogue with Finland’s transmission system operator, Fingrid, as the reserve regulations for power plants undergo a transformation. Leveraging its latest innovation, VEO also provides more power plants access to the reserve market, in support of Fingrid’s mission to guarantee the supply of uninterrupted electricity.

As the operator of Finland’s main grid, Fingrid is responsible for ensuring the stability and balance of the electricity system at all times. To achieve balance during deviations, Fingrid purchases reserves from reserve markets where participants adjust their electric power production according to the needs of the power system. Prior to participating in reserve markets, a power plant must undergo prequalification tests to ensure that specific requirements are met. For several years, VEO has provided its expertise in hydro power turbine regulation when Fingrid has been developing the prequalification requirements and specifications.

”Fingrid acknowledges our expertise in grid code requirements,” states Juha Mäki, Sales Manager at VEO. “Recently, we have been testing the upcoming Nordic specifications at several hydropower plants to provide valuable feedback to Fingrid on how the turbines operate under the new specifications.

Case example: Future-proofing a hydropower plant

VEO recently played a key role in the modernisation of Kemijoki Oy’s Kurkiaska hydropower plant, where an energy storage system was integrated into the plant. VEO’s turnkey delivery included the integration of its latest innovation, the hybrid turbine governor (VEO eHPG), which integrates the regulation of the hydropower turbine and the energy storage system. Read more about the integration here.

VEO also performed the prequalification testing to ensure that the plant can be used as a Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR) in Fingrid’s reserve market. The tests were conducted to confirm the compliance with:

  • The current reserve specifications to ensure the Kurkiaska hydropower turbine’s compliance after the modernisation, with and without the energy storage system.
  • The upcoming harmonised Nordic specifications (coming into effect 1st September 2023), ensuring compliance with future standards.

Kurkiaska successfully passed all tests, thus becoming one of the first hybrid hydropower plants in Finland to comply with the upcoming Nordic specification. This achievement was made possible by the VEO eHPG, which efficiently transfers the high-speed load variations from the turbine to the energy storage, a prerequisite for FCR reserves.

“As renewable energy sources with variable outputs become increasingly integrated into the grid, the demand for balancing power rises. We are thrilled to witness our hybrid turbine governor enabling power plants to generate higher output, granting them access to future reserve markets and making them valuable assets in the energy transition.”

Jakob Lövdahl, Vice President for Sales and Marketing at VEO, sees the innovation as a testament to VEO’s relevance as a pioneering force in today’s evolving energy landscape.

”The importance of new technology to support and strengthen the grid cannot be overstated. We have developed the VEO eHPG for years and having finally reached a stage when it is being fully tested and with a patent pending, we are eager to start supporting a broad range of clients”.

Fingrid often participates as an observer during prequalification tests, as was the case during the Kurkiaska tests.

”VEO has been a very active contributor in the development of the new technical requirements and their expertise on hydro power has been very valuable to us. New solutions such as the hybrid turbine governor are essential in ensuring stable electricity system as the power system goes through the largest transition so far”, comments Mikko Kuivaniemi, head of Power System Reserves at Fingrid.

From left: Mikko Kuivaniemi, Fingrid, Aleksi Sarajärvi, Kemijoki, Jukka Kelloniemi, VEO at the prequalification tests at Kemijoki’s Kurkiaska hydropower plant.