Google uses most of the electricity generated by the Piiparinmäki wind farm in Pyhäntä and Kajaani to meet the needs of the Hamina data center. The combined real estate tax revenue of the wind turbines is more than EUR 1 million per year. The energy company Ilmatar, which operates the wind farm, is also launching two new wind power projects in Kainuu, with a total of 50 turbines.
The 41 wind turbines of the Piiparinmäki wind farm have been completed and are currently producing clean wind power for the Finnish electricity grid on the border between Pyhäntä and Kajaani. The wind farm built by the energy company Ilmatar is the largest in Finland in terms of the number of power plants and their rated output (211MW). The wind farm will be fully operational early next year.
“All the wind turbines have now been erected. For construction, it is a significant milestone when everything visible has been achieved, special deliveries have been carried out and the lifting work has been completed. The next step will be an intensive commissioning and testing phase, after which we will have the entire wind farm ready for electricity production,” says Petri Ainonen, Head of Construction at Ilmatar.
The estimated annual production of the Piiparinmäki wind farm is approximately 700 GWh, which is enough to cover the annual electricity consumption of every studio apartment or about 36,000 detached houses in Finland.
“More than half of Finland’s electricity was produced with renewable energy sources in 2020. Piiparinmäki and other wind farms completed this year will increase the share even more. However, further energy production is needed as the demand for electricity increases significantly in industry, transport and heating. The construction of additional domestic wind power is key to solving climate issues and achieving carbon neutrality,” says Juha Sarsama, CEO of Ilmatar.
Approximately 60 per cent of Piiparinmäki’s wind power is used for Google’s data centre in Hamina. The remainder is sold to consumer and corporate customers.
Significant annual tax revenues for the municipality of Pyhäntä
Ilmatar began construction of the wind farm project originally started by Metsähallitus in October 2019. The 41st turbine was connected to the electricity grid at the beginning of November 2021. Of the wind turbines, 32 are located in the municipality of Pyhäntä and 9 in the city of Kajaani. The Piiparinmäki wind farm makes Pyhäntä in North Ostrobothnia electrically self-sufficient several times over and brings significant revenue streams to the municipality.
“Metsähallitus’ preparational work and construction permit phase proceeded according to schedule with strong professionalism. The well-prepared project got decision-makers and residents to strongly support the construction of the wind farm, and cooperation with Ilmatar has gone splendidly. We have been kept informed of the progress of the project and the promises made have always been kept,” says Ismo Mäkeläinen, Mayor of Pyhäntä.
According to Mäkeläinen, the real estate tax revenue brought into Pyhäntä municipality’s economy by the project plays an important role.
“Thanks to the Piiparinmäki wind farm, we can keep the municipal tax rate competitive and dare to invest in large construction projects, as we receive nearly €1 million in property tax every year,” Mäkeläinen says.
Piiparinmäki has also built Finland’s first wind farm visitor centre, where residents and other interested parties can get acquainted with wind power production.
Ilmatar to launch two new major projects in Kainuu
Ilmatar is also launching two new wind power projects in Kainuu. 50 wind turbines are planned to be built in the municipality of Paltamo, 19 of which would be built in the Hukkalansalo area and 31 in Takiankangas. The project is currently Ilmatar’s largest single project, and it will have almost twice the rated output power as the Piiparinmäki project.
“Paltamo’s wind power projects are planned to produce 350–500 megawatts depending on the technological development of the wind turbines in the coming years. If fully implemented, Paltamo’s projects will have a significant impact on Finnish electricity production,” emphasises Jussi Mäkinen, Head of Project Development at Ilmatar.
The municipality of Paltamo has approved the zoning initiative for both sites, and the next step is to assess the impact of wind farms in a joint environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. Ilmatar is responsible for the projects’ development and construction, and the operation of the wind farm.
Ilmatar is also building three wind farms in Kurikka, Alajärvi and Humppila-Urjala. The goal of the Finnish energy company is to build 1,000 MW of new wind power in Finland by 2027.