Finnish industrial park gets 12 MW smart grid with central inverters

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Italy’s Fimer, which acquired ABB’s inverter business last year, has supplied inverters for the PV-powered Lemene smart grid project in Finland.

The municipality of Lempäälä, in southern Finland, will host a 12 MW smart grid featuring a 4 MW ground-mount PV system. The smart grid will deliver power to 300 businesses in the Marjamäki industrial area.

Finland experiences a lot of power outages, which is why many utilities have started to develop independent smart grids to improve energy security. The country also elected a new government last year, following a campaign based on green promises. The country has vowed to achieve full decarbonization by 2035 and is now speeding up the development of renewables.

The Lemene project is one of 11 planned installations to secure nearly €5 million in funding from the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. As one of the largest solar PV projects in Finland, the Lemene installation has an annual output of 3,600 MWh, which roughly corresponds to the electricity consumption of 1,620 apartment buildings.

Fimer provided its PVS980-58 central inverters for the project. It claims that the technology will be crucial in ensuring the project’s success, as its solutions allow for high energy yields in on-grid and off-grid modes.

“This is a highly innovative and prestigious project, with ambitious targets for greater decentralization and energy self-sufficiency within Finland, says Filippo Carzaniga, chairman of the board of Fimer. “A key priority for us was to ensure that the technology could consistently perform and work in synergy with other renewable sources, withstanding the varied weather conditions in Finland without compromising on the yield.”

Fimer said its central inverter solution is particularly well-suited for applications in harsh solutions due to its self-contained, low-maintenance cooling system.

“We are now looking at how we can extract heat from the solar system for co-generation and we are also investing further in a 1MW solar plant over the next five years,” said Kai-Kristian Koskinen, head of the electrical business at Lempäälän Energia.

Fimer plans to open a new R&D facility later this year in Helsinki. It will be its second research center in the Finnish capital.

“The facilities and its team support testing and verification of Fimer’s portfolio of inverters for safe operation and endurance across a wide range of climatic conditions, including the compatibility to grid codes, as well as testing and measuring harmonics and grid interactions,” the company said.