Finland fires up two oil reserve power plants
The Finnish power grid operator began operating two backup power plants on Thursday in order to balance the country's electricity system and prevent blackouts.
Following warnings of blackouts this winter due to Europe's energy crisis, Finland had to fire up two oil backup power plants on Thursday to avoid an electricity shortage, according to the grid operator.
The backup plants operated by Fingrid in Huutokoski in the southeast and Forssa in the southwest ran for three hours, according to a statement from the state-owned company.
Backup plants are typically activated once or twice a year, but only when there is a sudden and unexpected drop in production, not when there is a risk of a shortage, according to a spokeswoman.
"For this morning, the production and the imports weren't enough to cover consumption," Fingrid official Minna Laasonen told AFP.
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"We had reached the technical limits for imports from Sweden and wind production was very, very small," she said.
The two power plants provide 200 megawatts to ensure a balance between consumption and production, Fingrid reported.
In addition to Finland's total electricity production of around 12,300 megawatts, the company expects to have a total backup capacity of around 600 megawatts this winter.
The operator urged Finns to prepare for possible power outages this winter at the end of August. With the cold season approaching, Finland hopes to be able to rely on its new third-generation EPR reactor Olkiluoto-3, which began electricity production in December 2021 and is still in the testing phase.
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According to TVO's most recent forecast, it should reach full capacity of 1,600 megawatts by "early October".
Following Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, Finland announced its NATO membership application in mid-May, prompting neighboring Russia to suspend electricity exports to Finland, citing payment issues.
Previously, Russian imports accounted for approximately 10% of Finnish electricity consumption and could provide up to 900 megawatts.
Sweden, Finland's neighbor, can provide 2,400 megawatts, but Sweden is also facing potential shortages and has already resorted to oil backup plants.
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