Volue Continues to Support the Nordics' Growing Reserve Market

We recently caught up with Tomi Pesonen, Senior Vice President, Volue Energy Market Services. Tomi, who is both a native of and based in Finland, had this to say about the wind market in the Nordics, the use of Manual Frequency Restoration Reserve in maintaining sector balance, and the opportunities that continue to be presented.

Published

Nov 16, 2023

Windmill on an open field

Finland and Sweden: countries in context  

Finland's wind energy sector has continued to demonstrate significant expansion during 2023. The Nordic country maintains an active commitment to investing in onshore wind power projects as a means to bolster its renewable energy capacity and align with its green energy targets. Multiple wind farms are either in development or have recently reached completion, contributing substantially to the evolution of the Finnish energy ecosystem. 

Over the last decade, Sweden's renewable energy capacity has also increased, fueled by an increase in hydropower and ongoing growth in wind. By 2026 the Swedish energy ecosystem will have almost doubled its wind power to 52 TWhs. At the same time, industries are repositioning themselves to take advantage of these new resources and we anticipate that Sweden will find itself to be a significant net exporter of renewable energy by that time. All of these factors mean that there are more variables to work with and more opportunities to latch onto.  

It’s with this context in mind that Tomi takes up the story. 

Balancing Supply and Demand  

“Manual Frequency Restoration Reserve, or mFRR, is increasingly becoming more important in the context of power grid management and electricity generation. With a growth in intermittent renewables, it's more important than ever to maintain a balance between the supply of electricity and its demand. Any imbalance in this equilibrium can lead to fluctuations in the grid's frequency, which can have detrimental effects on the stability and reliability of the electrical system,” explains Tomi.  

“mFRR is one of the mechanisms used to help maintain this balance. It is a type of reserve capacity that is held in the energy market to quickly respond to unforeseen events that can cause frequency deviations on the grid. These events can include sudden changes in electricity demand, unexpected generator outages, or other disturbances,” he adds.  

The Reserve Market  

"In Finland, wind power participates in the reserve market to a small extent. However, this is changing, and we have seen that it continues to grow year-on-year. Some producers are active in the mFRR market, but in other markets there are no wind participants yet. For those who are active, we are supporting their sector requirements.  

“By way of context, this year we have already launched mFRR trading for several parks. In addition to that, some other parks have already agreed to participate in the reserve market with us and are already in the process of implementation. These have a combined maximum capacity of close to a thousand MW's by year end. In addition, there are active service offers pending for several parks”, says Tomi.  

Technical Monitoring Services  

So just what sets Volue apart from the rest when it comes to reserve market activity?  

Tomi had this to say. 

Tomi Pesonen

"One clear advantage for us is our 24/7 control room and technical monitoring service. This enables us to provide curtailing to the park when it's due – so we can offer the customer a one-stop shop type of service, as a unique service provider in the Nordics. It’s something that we are now looking to introduce across the Nordics, with Sweden our next natural step when it introduces the Balance Service Provider model (BSP)."

Tomi Pesonen

Senior Vice President, Volue Energy Market Services

“The Nordic energy market is revamping itself, introducing new flexibility revenue opportunities through the new role of the BSP and the transition to 15-minute trading and settlement intervals. The latter is already in place, building a strong basis for upcoming opportunities. 

“Sweden is also seeing the ramifications of an overcommitment to long contracts, or so-called baseload power purchase agreements. While useful in gaining financial backing, they can also become a liability when market conditions change. Having a more nimble and modular approach to securing asset value will ensure asset owner resilience in a time of change and is something the market needs to embrace even more as complexity and volatility increase. 

“In addition to mFRR, we are trading our customers’ assets on all reserve market categories and also participating in Fingrid’s pilot project to bring wind power to more than the mFRR markets. We already have several non-wind power customers in other reserve markets, with many participating in several markets at the same time. Our aim is to optimise our clients' income in the different reserve markets according to where the best income would be available, and we remain committed to developing these tools further.  

“For me, reserve power markets such as mFRR remains a vital component of the energy market that helps maintain the stability of the electrical grid by quickly responding to frequency deviations, ensuring a reliable supply of electricity to consumers. We look forward to continuing to support the Nordic market over the coming years.”  

Volue Energy Market Services

Volue Energy Market Services is a market leader for software-backed services in the renewables sector. It provides power producers, industrial companies, traders, aggregators and battery operators with services including asset operations, power production planning and optimisation, and trading and settlement. Provision of real time Nordic control room services not only complements the portfolio but adds a critical information and controllability aspect to both energy and storage assets. This in turn gives customers an edge in the ever-developing complex market landscape.  

Navigating the power market is a complex exercise. Through cutting edge technology, machine learning, algorithms and our highly competent team, our solutions optimise assets and reduce risk in the financial and physical power market.  

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