Helen to improve the flexibility of the electricity system by investing in a large-scale battery electricity storage system
Helen Ltd is investing in the new 40 MW battery electricity storage system in Nurmijärvi. The storage is one of the first large-scale battery electricity storing systems in Finland. The investment will accelerate the green transition, balance electricity price fluctuations and ensure the reliability of the electricity system. Evli Fund Management Company Ltd’s renewable energy fund is acting as the developer of the project and, after the investment, will continue in the project as a co-investor. The storage will be completed at the beginning of 2025.
The need for grid-scale energy storage is growing every year as the green transition requires more flexibility from the electricity grid. Electricity production must at all times equal energy consumption so that the electricity grid remains balanced and the electricity system functional. Electricity storages improve the flexibility and storing capacity of the electricity system and, thereby, balance electricity price fluctuations on market terms.
“Huge investments in renewable energy are being made in the energy sector and fossil-based production forms are being replaced by wind and solar power. Renewable energy requires supporting battery electricity storage systems to create stability in the electricity system and in the electricity markets. Increasing the flexibility of the energy system is at the core of Helen’s new strategy, and the investment supports the achievement of our carbon neutrality target set for 2030 and our goal to phase out all combustion-based energy production by 2040,” says Helen’s CEO Olli Sirkka.
The lithium-ion battery electricity storage system under construction in Nurmijärvi consists of 36 modules the size of large shipping containers, which will be connected to the nearby main grid of the transmission system operator Fingrid Oyj. Expansion of the 40 MW electricity storage project is planned which, if it materialises, will double the storage capacity. The battery electricity storage system will balance Finland’s electricity production and consumption by participating in Fingrid’s reserve markets.
The project combines the core competencies of two reliable domestic operators and an international technology company. Helen is providing its energy system knowledge and expertise to the project, which is being complemented by the competencies of Evli Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund II, which focuses on infrastructure investments, and Evli’s renewable energy project development. Siemens has participated in the development of the project from the beginning in cooperation with Evli and continues to act as the project’s operating and management partner.
“We believe that a battery electricity electricity storage system, which participates in the reserve market and supports the green transition, is an attractive investment for our renewable energy fund. The investment strategy of the fund includes the traditional renewable energy targets, such as solar and wind power, as well as investments in infrastructures that increase the use of renewable energy. With these investments, we can promote sustainable development and positive change which enable long-term value creation,” says Antti Jaakonsaari, Evli Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund II’s Portfolio Manager.
“Siemens is providing this interesting green investment project with its expertise in different systems and its capabilities in improving the flexibility and optimisation of energy consumption, storing and production facilities as well as in the development of related solutions and in adding sites to reserve market trading platforms,” says Miia Wallén, Head of Project Development in Energy Transition at Siemens Osakeyhtiö.
The new project is a continuation of Helen’s previous electricity storage investments. Currently, there are three electricity storage units in use for research and development purposes. In addition, a jointly-owned 5-MW electricity storage unit is in operation at Lakiakangas wind farm and an electricity storage of similar size is under construction at Lohja solar farm.
The establishment of the joint venture of Helen and Evli’s fund requires all standard approvals of the authorities.