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Wind turbine foundations nearing completion in Blaiken

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image Blaiken wind farm construction

Blaiken already has hydroelectric power generation on site as well as previous mining activity, which means that it is well equipped to support the generation and distribution of wind power.

The Blaiken Vind AB wind farm, a Fortum and Skellefteå Kraft joint venture, is currently being constructed in northern Sweden and completed by 2015. A maximum of 100 wind turbines will be set up at the farm with a total combined output capacity rising to 250 megawatts on completion.

The Blaiken wind farm is the first large-scale wind power project in which Fortum has participated. The area is located on the border between the Storuman and Sorsele municipalities in the middle of Sweden's northern wilderness.  To reach the area from Helsinki would first necessitate a flight to Stockholm and then from there on to the small airport at Vilhelmina. A further journey of a 100 km by car is required before arriving at the construction site which covers approximately 30 square kilometres.

Monitored by the local county administrative board

Blaiken already has hydroelectric power generation on site as well as previous mining activity, which means that it is well equipped to support the generation and distribution of wind power. The average wind speed in the area is approximately 7-8.2 m/s. The roads and infrastructure of the area are currently nearing completion. In order to construct this site, we have listened to people who live in the surrounding areas as well as to environmental experts.

"The power plant area and its flora have been classified into four different categories on the basis of their natural value. The roads have been built by taking into account these categories and by aiming to minimise any environmental changes within the area. The local administrative board closely monitors our work to ensure compliance with this as well as other terms and conditions recorded in the environmental permit of the organisation," Jouni Ahtiainen Project Manager at Fortum, states.

The construction of the Blaiken wind farm has been divided into three phases during each of which a third of the final number of turbines will be set up at the farm. All investment decisions will be made separately during each phase. Eleven of all foundations of the wind turbines in phase one have now been completed. During the end part of the year, another 19 foundations will be added, with the construction work for the majority of these already under way. There will be a considerable distance between each turbine; the road network in the area totals some 60 kilometres and the cable network is approximately 120 km in length. 

"Two different wind power plant foundation methods will be used at Blaiken: earth mat foundation and rock foundation which requires that bedrock be intact near to the surface," Jouni explains indicating how the construction method for foundations is chosen.

The investment proposal for phase two will be submitted during 2012 and the proposal for phase three in 2013.

Good collaboration

In addition to Jouni, 11 other Fortum employees from wind power experts to purchasing department buyers are at present working part time within the Blaiken wind farm project. Jouni works in close cooperation with CEO/Project Manager Mikael Lindmark and Skellefteå Kraft Project Manager Stefan Skarp.

"We seek solutions for various issues as they arise during the project. We aim to ensure the progress of the project as planned and the achievement of the targets set for the project organisation. At the same time I am constantly monitoring the implementation of the project with regard to its schedule, costs and quality."

To Jouni, the Blaiken wind farm is a really interesting project. "Working in the project is rewarding, and our cooperation with Skellefteå Kraft has been excellent."

Nordex will commence wind turbine deliveries during 2012, and we estimate that the first wind turbines will be producing power in April 2012. The output capacity of each turbine is 2.5 megawatts, and the turbines are equipped with a new type of rotor blade heating system, which prevents ice formation on the blades and thus also ensures continuation of wind farm production during the winter months. Fortum currently owns 12 of the total 60 turbines ordered thus far.

FACTS:

Blaiken is likely to become one of the largest onshore wind farms in Europe. Its production per annum is approximately 700 gigawatt-hours, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 150,000 households. The total investment at the completion of the project will be approximately 400 million euro. Fortum owns 40% and Skellefteå Kraft AB 60% of Blaiken Vind AB, a joint venture founded for the project as well as the subsequent use of the power plant.

Source: Fortum

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