Destia to implement the first synchronous condenser in Finland for Fingrid to balance wind power in the main grid

Destia will implement the first synchronous condenser in Finland for Fingrid at the Jylkkä substation in Kalajoki. It will help Fingrid improve the reliability of the main grid on the west coast, where a lot of wind power is produced. Fingrid will commission the synchronous condenser in 2025.

“Finland’s west coast contains one of the country’s main concentrations of wind power production, and it is growing faster than all forecasts. A wind power hub is emerging in Ostrobothnia to rival the combined output of the Olkiluoto and Loviisa nuclear power plants. The large amount of wind power in the area presents a challenge for the power system. One of the solutions to address this is the synchronous condenser. We selected Destia as the contractor as they have the expertise to execute even the most challenging projects,” says Timo Kiiveri, Senior Vice President, Fingrid.

A synchronous condenser is a large synchronous machine without an energy source, which stabilizes the grid’s voltage and frequency, which vary particularly in wind power production. Wind turbines are connected to the grid via frequency converters. Frequency converters do not react to changes in the grid’s frequency or voltage with intrinsically rotating masses like conventional power plants. In the absence of characteristics that inherently maintain a balance, the power system becomes considerably more vulnerable to disturbances and more difficult to manage.

When wind power output is high and, in particular, during network outages, the regional electricity network can become unstable. In the worst cases, frequency converters no longer remain connected to the grid. This phenomenon has also been known to occur under normal operating conditions.

“As an engineer it is always interesting to get to build something for the first time. Particularly when it is about the development of renewable electricity production that has a significant impact on the climate and the future. The need for electricity and the energy transition will increase the importance of well-functioning grid and that is why we at Destia focus on the energy sector, particularly building renewable energy and electrical networks,” says Tapio Leskinen, Director, Energy Networks, Destia.

Destia will be responsible for the construction works and implementing the synchronous condenser, power transformer and control and automation systems utilizing its end-to-end expertise in construction of infrastructure, electric grids and substations. Destia is also responsible for the design as well as the commissioning and connecting the system to the network. Ge Steam Power will provide the generator and the flywheel and their control system.

“Synchronous condensers represent a fully reliable and proven solution to address the stability requirements of the grid with the influx of renewable energy. They increase both the short circuit resilience of the grid and the inertia of the system, providing an instantaneous power feed in the event of a grid frequency drop. GE has been delivering synchronous condensers for projects around the globe for over a century, and we are committed to supporting our customers as a true partner through the energy transition,” says Paul Wise, MD, Innovation & Services Development, GE Steam Power.

Destia will also be in charge of the demanding foundation engineering and earth works as well as their design and planning. In addition, Destia will build the industrial shed, which will house the synchronous condenser, and the control room.

Fingrid is Finland’s transmission system operator. We secure reliable electricity for our customers and society, and we shape the clean and market-oriented electricity system of the future. Fingrid delivers. Responsibly.

Destia is the biggest infrastructure service company in Finland and part of the global Colas Group. We design, build and maintain infrastructure that is essential for the functioning of society, such as electricity networks, bridges, roads and railways. We develop urban environments, solutions for telematics and lighting, and offer comprehensive services for traffic and infrastructure management. We build tomorrow’s infrastructure with the unique sense of infrastructure of our 1,600 professionals. Destia’s revenue amounted to approximately MEUR 575 in 2021.

Contact details:

Tapio Leskinen, Director, Energy networks, +358 40 120 9016,
Ari Eskola, Director, Substations, +358 40 526 8409,
Media relations:

Timo Kiiveri, Senior Vice President, Fingrid Oyj, +358 40 543 3039

Image: GE Steam Power