The Juurakko wind farm in Kalajoki
Tuulipuisto Juurakko Oy
Customer: VSB Uusiutuva Energia Suomi Oy
Project scope: total contract, 7 wind turbines, hub height 148 m, total power 40 MW
Year of completion: 2022
NYAB involved in the construction of Finland’s first industrial-scale hybrid power park
The Juurakko wind farm in Kalajoki, Finland, built for VSB Uusiutuva Energia Suomi Oy, was completed according to plan and on schedule. The wind farm is the first part of Finland’s first industrial-scale hybrid power park. The construction of the second part, a solar power plant, started in November.
NYAB built the Juurakko wind farm as a BoP contract for VSB Uusiutuva Energia Suomi. Balance of Plant (BoP) construction refers to the infrastructure and electrical work of a wind farm, including all construction work except turbines. The Juurakko wind farm is an important project for VSB, as it is their first wind farm project in Finland. NYAB brought to the project their long track record of expertise and experience. NYAB has been involved in the construction of more than 170 wind power plants since 2013.
The total contract included design work, ten kilometres of roads, lifting areas for the erection of the wind turbines, foundations for the wind turbines and cabling and electrical work. The seven wind turbines with a hub height of 148 metres generate a total of 40 megawatts of electricity, equivalent to the annual electricity demand of around 6,500 single-family houses with electric heating.
Matti Helaakoski, head of the earthworks and foundation engineering unit, describes the design work:
“Having received the initial data from the customer, we executed the detailed design phase, including the dimensioning of the construction layers and the optimisation of the use of materials. This is where our strengths come to the fore: the skills of our personnel play an important role and are reflected in the high quality and cost-effective end result. Our aim is not to overuse materials at any point, and not to carry out unnecessary work. This benefits both our customers and, from a sustainability perspective, the whole planet.”
The excavator bucket first hit the rocky ground of Juurakko in April 2021. Since then, a large-scale renewable energy site has been built on the 250-hectare plot of land. The turbines were installed and connected to the grid during the summer of 2022.
“The test runs started in August. They lasted about five weeks per turbine, and the tests, like everything else in this project, have gone smoothly. Even the weather was on our side, as the erection phase was windless and the test phase windy, just as you would hope. Full power generation started in November for the customer, the Finnish energy company Helen, to whom we sold the wind farm last summer,” says Sami Orajärvi, Construction Director of VSB Uusiutuva Energia Suomi Oy.
The wind farm was built in suitable terrain, away from housing, in a forested area surrounded by fields. For the builder, the site presented some challenges:
“The terrain was rocky and the cabling from the wind farm to the national grid crossed public roads, water pipes and bridges, causing some construction challenges. We also worked over a wide area and in many places at the same time. Of course, all of this was known in advance and taken into account in the planning, so the work went smoothly,” says Helaakoski.
Construction sites have also been further affected by the sudden deterioration in the global political situation, which has left everyone facing challenges with the availability of goods.
“However, we managed to remain on schedule thanks to good foresight, as we always ensure the availability of critical supplies at a very early stage. This was an interesting and, in many ways, complex project, involving the input of more than 100 professionals,” says Helaakoski, who worked as a site manager on the Juurakko wind farm project.
VSB’s Orajärvi is also satisfied with the progress of the project:
“NYAB is an experienced builder and everything has gone according to our expectations. Cooperation has been easy and smooth, and we absolutely have no negative experiences. Our cooperation continues. NYAB is currently building another wind farm for us in North Ostrobothnia, Finland.”