Friday, October 4, 2013

Wind turbines to spin in the City of Helsinki?

Lumituuli Oy, one of the first Finnish customer-owned wind power producers, has its eyes on the windy city of Helsinki.

Among EU countries, Finland has one of the lowest amounts of wind power production. According to industry statistics, wind power production in 2012 was about 492GWh which represents 0.6 per cent of Finnish electricity consumption.

But wind power is one of the fastest growing areas of power production globally. In Finland, it's also gaining a foot hold.

One of players on the domestic scene is Lumituuli Oy, which has its eyes on the Finnish capital. As Helsinki is a relatively windy city, it has near perfect conditions for wind power production according to the wind power company. One of Lumituuli's areas of interest is Isosaari, an island just off the Helsinki waterfront that was used by the Finnish Defence Forces for many years.

"Our goal is to build on one of the islands off Helsinki. We're interested in many locations including Isosaari, but we've also got our eye on other places such as Vuosaari," says Lumituuli's managing director Sampsa Hario.

Currently, Lumituuli (the company's name lumituuli means "snow wind" in Finnish) is building a wind turbine in Northern Finland. The 800-kilowatt power plant will be completed by the end of 2013. When it's operational, it will generate enough electricity to fulfill the consumption needs of about 1,000 one-bedroom flats.

According to an Yle News survey carried out earlier in the spring, a number of Helsinki city councillors are in favour of wind power construction. However, public opinion on wind power is divided. In addition to the visual impact of turbines, there may be other environmental concerns such as noise pollution.

In 2011, the City of Saskatoon abandoned plans to build a wind turbine within the city limits on a large pile of rubbish at the landfill due to cost and some commentators have stated, local opposition. A community wind project is now aiming to build a project outside the city limits. I'm guessing Helsinki, with support from progressive-minded city councillors, will have their turbine spinning in no time.

Source: YLE

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