On a quest for Nordic solar
with developer, Solarigo
Alfen’s solution was the best one for our needs and we worked together to make it a success. The team worked hard to meet all challenges. An example of this was a strict deadline, imposed by the state in return
for financial support. Alfen met this by delivering quickly, in less than three months. I’m confident that, as we start to develop further business cases which include storage, Alfen will be our future choice of partner too.
Can you reflect on your relationship with Alfen?
Solarigo integrated Alfen’s Energy Storage System ‘TheBattery’ with a solar PV park to provide stability
and flexibility to Fingrid. Can you tell us about the project?
The 1MW/1MWh battery is located in Nurmo next to Atria Finland, a food production factory, and integrated with a 6MW solar park - Finland’s biggest - with roof and ground-mounted panels.
The combination of high-power consumption and lots of space in Nurmo made a solar park make sense. In addition, some of the neighbouring energy customers were experiencing power quality issues. Obviously, a battery could assist with both of these situations and it is also being used to provide frequency containment services for the national TSO, Fingrid.
Another driver for the project was to gain battery experience so we could understand more about to integrate a battery and gain operational knowhow.
We have been satisfied with the project. The battery
is now installed, operational and doing well.
The overall project also acts as a test site so there
is also an opportunity to use it as an example,
by offering guided tours for groups and businesses.
Finland is still at the beginning of its solar journey.
I think we have approximately 250MW of installed projects active overall here but there are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 buildings with suitable rooftops so the scope is considerable. About 60% of the energy mix in Nordic countries is produced by hydropower and so it’s easy to store energy. Some people call the Nordics the battery of Europe for longer-term storage.
Solarigo currently has roughly 80 different power plants, most of them rooftop installations, and a total of about 27MW either already producing energy or in construction. Obviously, we are actively trying to grow that and are expanding so we can compete for larger-scale
solar parks which would, in turn, provide an opportunity for storage, in my opinion, mainly to provide frequency containment services and potentially improve power quality at the site. At the moment, we only operate in Finland. We started in the South but are now also installing in the North.
Although there is limited light in winter, the opposite is true in summer so, at an annual level, solar conditions and power output are similar to Northern Germany.
We do have international customers though, based in
the Nordics, and some have asked us to provide our services across borders so there may be opportunity
to follow them, particularly to the Baltic countries.
Your goal is to enable a significant increase in solar energy in Finland and other Nordic countries.
What is your plan for achieving this?
" There are an estimated 50k-60k buildings with suitable rooftops so the scope is considerable "
We are actually made up of three different companies. Solarigo Systems Oy, the parent company, is responsible for sales, marketing, engineering, procurement and installation teams. The two subsidiaries, Solarigo Oy and Nurmon Aurinko Oy, are effectively asset companies where we hold our investments and ongoing customer contractual arrangements; for example, the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).
We take care of everything as part of the turn-key delivery: design, permits, engineering, construction, installation etc. Our customers are largely commercial. They provide the space and we install and operate the solar and then provide as much as the company, or its tenants, need under a PPA and then sell the rest to the grid. Contracts are typically for 15-20 years in order to provide long-term value but it can be challenging to get that commitment. Overall, though, we have been successful in achieving it.
Can you introduce the company?
Founded in 2015, Solarigo Systems Oy is a Finnish solar developer, offering turn-key delivery of (predominantly) roof top solar projects. The company designs, develops, constructs, finances and operates projects for retail, industry and commercial real-estate clients, who rent out their roofs for the projects on long-term lease. In return, they benefit from use of the power generated via a Power Purchase Agreement with Solarigo, who then sells any surplus back to the grid.
CEO, Antti Koskelainen, had already worked in the energy industry for 20 years when he founded the company with a partner and, since then, it has been growing rapidly, doubling its turnover every three years. We asked him about the company’s goal to significantly increase clean energy production via solar energy in Finland and other Nordic countries.
An interview with Antti Koskelainen,
CEO at Solarigo