Friday, December 9, 2011

Finnish energy company, Fortum entering solar PV market

The Finnish daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat reported this week that Finnish energy giant, Fortum has announced plans to enter the solar PV market.

"Solar energy technologies are evolving rapidly, and the use of solar energy in sunny countries is already cost-effective for small-scale solutions," says the company's community relations and sustainable development director Anne Brunila.

It is expected additional details will be forthcoming from Fortum in the future. Fortum may enter the manufacturing space or as a project developer. It is more likely that Fortum will enter the manufacturing space as Fortum is currently in a partnership with the Tampere University of Technology in Finland, developing high-efficiency solar cells that can achieve an efficiency of more than 40% by concentrating sunlight. In conjunction with Aalto University in Finland, Fortum is also developing new kinds of roof materials for solar thermal collectors and solar electricity panels.

Fortum's operations focus on the Nordic countries, Russia, Poland and Baltic
Rim area. In 2010, Fortum’s sales totalled EUR 6.3 billion and comparable operating profit was EUR 1.8 billion. Fortum employs approximately 10 500 people and their shares are quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.

Fortum has currently a few land-based wind power projects in the planning stage in Finland and Sweden. In Finland, there are six projects: Bergö (15 MW), Kuolavaara-Keulak-kopää (54 MW), Kalajoki (60 MW), Joukhaisselkä (60 MW), Ii (24 MW) and Loviisa (approximately 10 MW). In Sweden, Fortum is participating in two wind power projects: Blaiken and Orsa. The 250 MW Blaiken project, being planned together with the Swedish Skellefteå Kraft, is becoming one of the largest land-based wind farms in Europe. Fortum’s current wind power capacity of approximately 3 MW originates from associated companies in Finland, mainly from Tunturituuli Oy (55%). Fortum also owns a quarter of the one megawatt wind power station in Olkiluoto and 16% of Ab Öskata Vind Närpes - Öskatan Tuuli Närpiö Oy.

Fortum also owns significant hydro and nuclear assets.


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