MIKKELI, FINLAND – When energy production is handled by a greater share of renewables, there is a rising demand for grid balancing services as low-inertia power systems and production are harder to forecast and keep stable. Sympower, the flexibility specialist, is providing grid balancing services to help keep the Finnish electricity grid frequency stable at 50Hz.
Sympower has helped Misawa Homes of Finland, a sawmill situated in the eastern Finnish town of Mikkeli, move into the country’s frequency containment reserves for normal operation (FCR-N) market. To help keep the grid frequency stable at approximately 50Hz during normal operations, the Finnish transmission system operator Fingrid procures different kinds of reserves to balance electricity production and consumption.
Misawa Homes of Finland’s sawmill has a capacity of 82,000 m3. Since 1994, the company has produced and sold kiln-dried spruce lumber, primarily exporting the material to Japan. Previously, the company enjoyed great success being part of the country’s national frequency containment reserves for disturbance situations (FCR-D) energy reserves market under Sympower’s portfolio. However, also being part of the FCR-N market will unlock additional revenues for the company.
Sympower has enabled Misawa Homes of Finland to move into multiple reserves markets by providing an end-to-end solution comprising both software and hardware. The demand-response specialist is controlling nearly 1MW of the assets that comprise the sawmill’s wood drying process in a grid-friendly way across both reserve markets. When analysing Misawa Homes of Finland’s wood drying process for frequency reserves, Sympower identified additional possibilities of energy savings that could be realised without negatively impacting operations. The demand-response specialist is enabling the sawmill to make energy savings of approximately 10%, in addition to the revenues generated from the FCR-N and FCR-D markets.
Commenting on the project, Sympower’s Technology Manager Jarmo Saari said:
“This multi-reserve market project has been prepared and tested for over a year and has been able to go live thanks to extensive research and testing. Misawa Homes of Finland is already reaping the benefits of energy savings and reserve market compensations by entering the market. We provide advanced grid balancing solutions that help create additional revenues for large consumers of electricity.”
Misawa Homes of Finland’s Factory Manager Pasi Lähdelahti added:
“As we use lots of electrical energy for wood drying, we are always interested in testing new projects that could save us money. The installation and operation of Sympower’s solutions have not affected the drying time or quality of our timber. Instead, we use less energy to get the same high-quality dried timber.”