Touching Everyday Lives – Kraftnät Åland, Finland

Dependable back-up power for Åland's 6,500 islands by Kraftnät Åland

Åland, Finland

Project facts

Client: Kraftnät Åland AB

Rated capacity of link : 100 MW, with an additional 30 MWA available at peak load

Transmission line: 110kV transmission line, with unstayed single poles of steel

Distance between converters: 158 km

Keeping the lights on whatever the weather...

Kraftnät Åland AB owns, operates, maintains and develops the Åland transmission grid (110 and 45 kV) supplying electricity for the region of Åland, and is responsible for making power available both during normal and exceptional conditions.

Åland is an archipelago of 6,500 islands lying at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea, and its power supply is vulnerable to different forces.  The area largely relies on wind energy, which is not enough to meet winter requirements, and there was a real concern that the AC connection with Sweden could be cut by passing ships.  Back-up power was supplied by a slow and aging generation fleet, and so a more dependable solution was required.

With that in mind, Kraftnät Åland signed a contract for the largest single infrastructure investment in the history of the region. This project aimed to create a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system capable of transmitting 100 MW (megawatts) of electricity with minimum losses, connecting Åland to Finland. And they asked Pöyry to help.

Working closely together they prepared detailed tender documents for the HVDC work.  Pöyry also monitored an in-depth seabed survey, ensuring the path was clear for the 158 kilometre-long submarine cable.  A new 110 kV transmission line connecting the converter station in Åland to the existing substation was designed by Pöyry, with minimal impact on the surrounding agricultural land.

Pöyry worked tirelessly alongside our own people on this project. Their depth of expertise in areas like HVDC, sub-stations, and transmission lines complemented our own areas of knowledge and made working together a seamless experience - CEO, Jan Kahlroth, Kraftnät Åland AB.

This collaboration will result in a HVDC transmission system capable of transmitting 100 MW, including an additional 30 MW reactive power, allowing a total of 130 MVA of electricity, enough to guarantee the supply of Åland for at least the coming 30 years.  The project is expected to be completed on time in the beginning of 2016.