Built in Alajärvi, South Ostrobothnia, Ilmatar’s hybrid farm and its first completed wind turbines commenced production in early June. Currently, eight turbines are already producing renewable energy with a total rated capacity of 48 MW. By the end of 2023, the production of renewable energy will reach full capacity of 220 MW with 36 wind turbines. In the next few years, the hybrid farm is due for an extension with a 150 MWp solar farm and a complementary 25 MW battery storage.
Ilmatar’s Alajärvi wind farm has been supplying electricity to the Finnish national grid since June 2023. This is a major milestone for the production of renewable energy in Finland and Europe, as Ilmatar’s hybrid farm is one of the first of its kind in the country and in Europe.
“In Finland, Ilmatar is a pioneer in the construction, production, and ownership of renewable energy. Our hybrid farm demonstrates our ability to boldly advance the market in ways that bring added value to several stakeholders — investors, project employees, landowners, and more,” says Juha-Pekka Weckström, Chief Executive Officer of Ilmatar.
A hybrid farm refers to a power plant entity that produces energy using more than one method. In Alajärvi, this is achieved through the trinity of wind power, solar power, and a battery farm.
“In Alajärvi, our intention is to have all the wind turbines ready by the end of October and in full production by the end of the year. Meanwhile, we are preparing for the construction of the Alajärvi hybrid farm, as well as the solar farm and the battery storage entity, during 2024–2025. The hybrid entity will help Finland achieve self-sufficiency, security of supply, and electricity needs starting in 2026,” comments Petri Ainonen, Director of Construction at Ilmatar, on the progress and future stages of the Alajärvi project.
Upon completion, the hybrid entity of renewable energy in Alajärvi will produce clean energy with a total rated capacity of 370 megawatts. This capacity is equivalent to the electricity consumption needs of up to 370,000 one-bedroom apartments in Finland.
The balancing power provided by the batteries is designed to enable the production of electricity to the national grid when the demand is high or the market situation is optimal. The hybrid farm also improves Finland’s energy self-sufficiency and security of supply. For the implementation of the hybrid entity, Ilmatar has received 19.5 million euros in EU/RRF funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Ilmatar’s hybrid project is part of an EU State aid program coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The program aims to advance energy investment and infrastructure projects in accordance with Finland’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. These projects will reduce Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the country’s carbon neutrality target. Another goal is to reduce the technological and financial risks associated with renewable energy and new energy technologies, thereby accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels and reducing dependency on energy imported from Russia.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has provided support, in particular, for projects that have a significant positive impact on energy and emissions, are cost-efficient and executed swiftly, are led by operators with the ability to apply new technologies, and are used to develop methods that help make the implementation of similar projects more effective in the future.