Finland braces for power outages this winter

HELSINKI, Sep 25 – PRIME. The Finnish electricity grid company Fingrid has updated its monthly forecast for electricity availability in winter, taking into account a possible shortage of supplies from Sweden, follows from the message of the operator.

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Since June, Fingrid has been releasing monthly forecasts for the development of the situation with the electric power industry for the coming winter, while also assessing negative scenarios.

For the first time, the operator predicted a negative scenario with rolling blackouts in Finland in the winter until 2:00 on 17 July. The forecast was updated in September in connection with a longer repair of the fourth reactor of the Ringhals nuclear power plant in Sweden, the launch of which was postponed from November to January, the owner of the plant, Vattenfall, said earlier.

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“Simultaneous disruptions at large power generation facilities or transmission connections can create problems for electricity sufficiency. A particularly difficult situation is caused by a period of severe frost, which simultaneously affects Finland and other countries in the Baltic Sea region. In such cases, electricity consumption is high, and the availability of imports electricity may be at risk,” Fingrid said in a statement.

The operator reminded consumers that minor changes in living habits, such as reducing consumption during peak hours (weekday mornings and early evenings) and increasing consumption at night, will help reduce network load.

The situation in the Finnish energy sector in winter largely depends on the launch of the new, third power unit of the Olkiluoto NPP, which is currently operating in a test mode, the launch is expected in December. The Finnish market is energy deficient by about 15-20%, the deficit is covered from Sweden. It is expected that with the output of the third unit of the Olkiluoto NPP, the electricity deficit will decrease by 10-15%.

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Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant in Western Finland. The station is located on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia of the Baltic Sea, on the island of Olkiluoto. The two reactors already in operation produce 16% of Finland’s energy consumption. In 2002, it was decided to build a third power unit at this nuclear power plant. In 2003, the French group Areva became the construction contractor. The final building permit was obtained in 2005. The construction cost was estimated at 3 billion euros, but subsequently it tripled to 9 billion euros.

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