EPV Electricity Transmission produces services for the Group companies.

Several power line and substation projects projects were completed in the business area of EPV Electricity Transmission in 2019. The continuity of electricity supply remained good, and purposeful work to improve the cyber security of electricity grids was begun. The volume of electricity supplied into the grid increased, as new wind power facilities were completed and started their production and the new hydroelectric power plant became a customer of EPV Alueverkko Oy. The greenhouse connections in the grid also had power increases, thanks to the expansion investments.

EPV Alueverkko Oy (EPA) is a subsidiary wholly owned by EPV Energy Ltd. EPA’s customers are local distribution network companies, large-scale industry operators, greenhouse farms and the energy sector’s generation plants in Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia and Northern Finland.

“2019 was the first complete year that EPV Alueverkko and EVP Tuotantoverkot were merged under the name of EPV Alueverkko. The merger eased some of the bureaucracy in the business area,” says Jukka Rajala, Director of the EPV Alueverkko business area.

Building and expansion projects strengthened network activities

2019 was an active year in terms of network building projects. Several power line projects were completed, some were being built and others were at the licencing stage.

Power lines completed in 2019:

  • Petalax – Vaskiluoto 32 km
  • Seinäjoki – Itikka – Niemistö 10 km
  • Vörå – Lotlax 5 km

Power lines at the licencing stage in 2019:

  • Kristinestad – Perälä, 25 km
  • Brändskogen – Rajavuori, 23 km

In addition, some new power station projects were completed in 2019 and several were at the design/building stage due to the need to develop the network and connect new customers, especially for wind power.

Power stations completed in 2019:

  • Kuutamolahti power station
  • Niemistö switching substation
  • Brännas power station
  • extension of Petalax power station
  • extension of Närpes power station

Substation projects under construction for wind farms:

  • extension of Nori power station in Teuva
  • construction of the connecting substation for Saunamaa wind farm in Teuva

New optical ground wires (OPGW) improve cyber security and operational network security and ensure data communications in the network

In 2019, EPA installed 70 kilometres of new optical ground wires, or OPGWs, into its power lines. It now has a total of 300 kilometres of OPGW connects. The optical fibre is inside an armoured cable, ensuring data communications between power stations and the control room.

“Having our own optical fibres allows us to ensure continued data communications without having to rely on commercial telecommunications companies,” Rajala explains.

This improves the operational network security of the power stations and ensures availability 24/7, also during power cuts, without losing communication with the stations. In future, OPGWs will be added to all of EPA’s power lines.

When data travels via the company’s own communications network instead of the public fibre network, it improves cyber security and keeps it firmly in the company’s own hands.  

The first OPGWs will be put into operation during 2020 and OPGWs will be fully utilised in all power lines by 2022.

EPV acquired the Isokangas – Maalismaa – Niinisuo power line

Fingrid no longer needed the power line between Isokangas – Maalismaa – Niinisuo and so EPV acquired it for itself. The Pohjolan Voima hydroelectric power station joined the new network.

“As well as a new customer, we also gained potential to connect other things to the network,” Rajala says.

The new power line had one stay persistent fault over the year, but apart from that, EPA’s continuity of electricity supply was at its normal, excellent level. The network had a total of 14 faults, which usually does not cause significant harm.

“The faults were short, half a second long power cuts.”

Major outage drill highlighted targets for improvement

In 2019, the National Emergency Supply Agency organised a major outage drill in Western Finland, in which EPA participated. The drill simulated a situation where electricity was cut off for two weeks. The drill tested communications functionality, cooperation and contingency plans. There were 260 people involved in the drill.

“Based on our experiences with the drill, we will continue to improve our operations, implement corrective actions and update our contingency plans, crisis preparedness instructions and instructions for dealing with disturbances,” Rajala says.

EPA transmission from network to consumption, GWh

* Starting in February 2019, the significant capacity of the transmission line from Sellee to Röyttä was removed from the figures for EPV Alueverkko and became the responsibility of EPV Teollisuusverkot.

EPA peak hour capacity for consumption, MWh/h