During the fall of 2017 plans to make Åland into a testbed for green energy and smart grids were put into motion. The project, which is run by the company Clic Innovation, has several goals, the most important of which is to display a society that is 100% dependent on renewable energy. That plays well with Åland’s ambition to become carbon neutral in 2051 and thus ensures broad political support for the project.
2018 will be year of planning for the project. Interested parties shall come together and plan for the first investments which can be made as early as 2019. Åland is deemed to be an ideal place to conduct this kind of project. The island today imports much of its energy but could become a producer as it harbours excellent conditions for renewable energy.
Wind power will become an important part of the project and there, the Åland based wind power company Allwinds has been tasked with leading the project. Allwinds is a project company that today, among other things, runs a test site for small wind turbines together with Intertek at Lilla Båtskär, off the coast of Åland.
SeaTwirl, which in 2020 will launch a full-scale 1 MW capacity floating wind turbine, follows the project on Åland with great interest. It’s important to find solutions on a system level for an energy mix with lots of renewable and intermittent production, says CEO Gabriel Strängberg.
SeaTwirl has the unique capability of being able to stabilize the grid by making use of stored kinetic energy. Variation in wind speeds can lead to voltage fluctuations on the grid, a symptom of which is flickering lights. SeaTwirl’s patented solution can store kinetic energy and use it to optimize the rotational speed and thus even out voltage fluctuations.
The interest between Finland and SeaTwirl goes both ways. In November, Finland’s largest business daily, Kauppalehti, wrote an article about the company after having paid SeaTwirl and its prototype in Lysekil a visit during the summer. The article can be read here: https://www.kauppalehti.fi/