Helen introduces a new flexibility service and invests in its own electricity storages
The need for large-scale energy storage is growing every year, as the green transition requires more flexibility from the electric system. Helen is launching a new MW-size service focused on operating energy storages for its customers, which optimises the offering of electricity stored in batteries in the electricity and reserve markets. This solution, which is based on Helen’s own technology platform, is the first of its kind in Finland.
The new Battery Yield service helps Helen’s customers earn with their flexibility and, simultaneously, concretely participate in the energy transition through their own energy storages. The service is based on the machine-learning algorithms of the HelenFlex technology, which create the best combination of electricity and reserve trading for each day. The combination is created and trading carried out fully automatically, and customers can follow the related information transparently in their Yritys Helen service.
“A sustainable energy system requires more flexibility in electricity production and consumption as well as storage. We want to enable the participation of the large-scale electricity storages of our customers in the markets, as they can be used to balance, for example, weather-dependent solar and wind power production. At the same time, we are investing in new storages in connection with our wind and solar farms,” says Sari Mannonen, Senior Vice President, Solution Business and Portfolio Development at Helen.
The first electricity storage utilising the Battery Yield service is the 5 MW storage built at the Lakiakangas 3 wind farm co-owned by Helen and CPC Finland, which was commissioned at the beginning of October. We will continue storage investments in the Lohja solar farm where we will build Helen’s first electricity storage that is connected to a solar farm. The construction of the solar farm will start in the autumn and, following the investment decision made in the summer, the farm will be extended with the electricity storage within the next year.
New business opportunities for companies investing in batteries
The energy transition, i.e. replacing centralised plants using fossil energy with smaller units producing renewable energy, is significantly changing the electricity system. Maintaining the balance between the production and consumption of electricity increases the need for quick adjustments of the system. For an increasing number of operators, this opens up possibilities to participate in the reserve market operated by Fingrid, which ensures sufficient adjustment ability.
In practice, the adjustment means that, when a sudden and unexpected change happens in the electricity network, the reserves, such as electricity storages, are commissioned to restore the balance in the network. In this way, the stored electricity supports the entire Nordic electricity system of which the storage is a part.
“Utilising the opportunities of the reserve and electricity markets will be an important part of the business of an increasing number of companies. However, the market may seem complex when viewed from the outside. Helen has more than a hundred years of experience in the energy industry and we want to offer our in-depth market expertise for the use of our customers. Our aim is to be the leading energy management service provider in Finland,” says Kristiina Siilin, Business Development Manager at Helen.