Estonia’s energy company Eesti Energia is testing an innovative solution that would enable participation in the Finnish market for power system regulating capacities.
The energy company plans to connect its Auvere Power Plant and wind farms through a virtual power plant platform into a fast-reacting energy reserve that can support Finland’s energy security and security of supply.
In five years from now, Estonia will disconnect from the Russian electric power system and connect to the continental European one. This leads to a need for flexible and responsive energy production equipment that can be activated in real time by using digital solutions. While in Estonia and the Baltics, the market for such a service will emerge in 2025, then in Finland, which is part of the Nordic power system, there is a need for it now.
According to Margus Vals, Member of the Management Board of Eesti Energia, participation in the Finnish energy market would enable to gain valuable experience that could be used already in a few years’ time in Estonia to ensure energy security and security of supply.
“In order to ensure the security of supply after joining the European power system, it is necessary to smartly make maximum use of the suitable existing assets, such as power plants and wind farms and in the future, also equipment and storage units belonging to consumers, such as electric cars,” he said. “Therefore, in cooperation with the Finnish system operator Fingrid and Elering, we are testing an innovative solution, combining traditional and new electricity generation assets, which are 100 per cent digitally managed thanks to Eesti Energia’s innovative Virtual Power Plant. The Virtual Power Plant will soon enable us to offer added value to our Finnish customers through smart solutions.”
In practice, this means that if there is a demand for regulating capacity in Finland, it will shortly be produced in Eesti Energia’s power plants thanks to the new solution and will be transported via the Estlink 1 submarine cable to Finland, using the available transmission capacity. If, on the contrary, there is too much energy in Finland, Estonia’s power plants will be able to quickly balance it by reducing their production capacities accordingly.
“The Finnish and Estonian transmission system operators Fingrid and Elering have worked to enable market participants in both countries to participate in the automatic frequency restoration reserve market (aFRR) across borders,” added Asta Sihvonen-Punkka, Vice President of Fingrid Oyj. “Demand for the regulating reserve is growing due to the transition to a green energy system, We value cooperation with the Estonian market where we have achieved specific results.”
The tests required to carry out the pilot project will start before the end of the year and the readiness to provide an automatically-activated reserve capacity service to the Finnish energy system should be reached by next spring. In addition, Eesti Energia is preparing to enter the Finnish market with a virtual power plant service for industrial customers, which will speed up the green and digital revolution by making large equipment consuming and generating electricity make money for customers, reducing energy costs and enabling more renewable energy in the market.