Fortum and Elenia have signed a letter of intent for a completely new operating model in the energy sector. The companies are together testing the suitability of electricity storage in maintaining electricity system balance and in reducing power outages.
“Combining various ways of using electricity storage offers us the opportunity to develop an electricity market solution that benefits customers and electricity markets alike. In this globally unique model, electricity storage is utilised as a component in the balancing of a smart electricity network and the reduction of power outages. Electricity storage is part of Fortum’s service that Elenia utilises as back-up power during power outages,” says Fortum’s Tatu Kulla, Head of Business Development.
Fortum owns and operates the battery pack. It will be installed in Elenia’s grid area in Kuru, in North Pirkanmaa, during this year, and its use will be tested during the latter part of the year. The battery pack will be connected to Elenia’s medium-voltage network, and the batteries will supply electricity to a limited grid area during a power outage. This makes it possible to keep the electricity running in a limited area during repairs. The battery pack can secure the supply of electricity for over one hundred customers for several hours.
“The battery pack will allow us to keep the customers’ electricity service on while we repair storm damages to the grid, for example, which otherwise would require power to be interrupted. The new battery pack-based solution gives us a new way to manage power outages. This is a new opportunity to ensure the security of electricity supply during exceptional situations, and it effectively supports our weather-proof underground cabling strategy,” says Technology Manager Jouni Pylvänäinen from Elenia.
In normal situations the battery pack will function in the reserve markets as part of the Fortum Spring virtual battery along with thousands of household hot water heaters. The capacity of the virtual battery is offered to the grid company Fingrid’s reserve markets as regulating power.
“The need for electricity storages will grow alongside the increases in renewable energy production forms that produce intermittently, like wind and solar power. Electricity production and consumption must be in balance at all times. With the battery pack we can react to rapid fluctuations in production and consumption – and more quickly than many traditional power plants can,” says Business Development Manager Ilari Alaperä from Fortum Spring.