Helsinki, Finland (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - UPM Energy increases the production capacity of its Kuusankoski hydro power plant through an extensive renovation and modernization project during 2019-2022. The efficiency of the plant will increase by six percentage points to 94% and turbine capacity by 19% to about 37 MW. The average annual electricity production is estimated to increase from the current 180 GWh to 195 GWh. The project will be carried out one turbine-generation unit at the time so, that the works are not estimated to impact the plant's normal energy generation. The renovation and modernisation are estimated to be completed at the end of 2022.
"All of the three turbines will be renewed, and the generator units will be modernized during the renovation. We will also renew the automation and protection systems as well as one of the main transformers. Additionally, the plant's own reserve generator will be replaced with a more powerful one. The new automation system enables more effective control of the plant, improving especially the efficiency of controllable power generation, which is critical to the balance of the grid ," says Ari Henriksson, Director of Generation Asset Management at UPM Energy.
"The oldest components of the plant are from the end of the 1950s and they have reached the end of their life cycle. In addition to improved efficiency, modern hydro power technologies are also better for the environment. The new turbines, for example, have oil-free runners, which considerably reduce the risk of an oil hazard," Henriksson continues.
Fishery obligations remain unchanged - own fish migration program supplements the obligations
The fishery payments paid from Kuusankoski hydro power plant are used to maintain fisheries in Lake Päijänne and its subsequent waters. The renovation does not have impact on the fishery obligations set to the plant.
"In addition to the statutory obligations, we work to improve protection and re-vitalisation of fish stocks through our own fish migration program, for example at Pielisjoki river and at the headwaters of Central Finland. We remove migration obstacles and test new solutions to protect fish where there are best conditions for their natural living and breeding," Henriksson reminds.
Balancing Solar And Wind Power
Hydro power has an important role in balancing other renewable energy sources - especially the intermittent wind and solar power. Hydro power can be generated exactly when its needed. It is at its best when used to respond to demand fluctuation and to balance energy production when the sun doesn't shine or there is no wind. While growing population and urbanisation increase the demand for electricity, the climate change reminds us of the uniqueness of the nature and its scarce resources. Hydro power responds in part to the increasing need for low-emission and renewable energy.
Kuusankoski hydro power plant is located on the Kymijoki river in Kuusankoski, Kouvola in Finland. It has been built in 1946 and expanded in 1949 and 1951. The plants height of fall is 9.2 meters and average discharge 279 m3/s. It current turbine power is about 31 MW and average annual energy production 180 GWh. The plant has been renovated previously during 1998-1999.
UPM Energy is a significant operator in the Nordic electricity market. With the total electricity generation capacity of 1,500 MW UPM Energy is the second largest electricity producer in Finland. Our business includes electricity generation and operations in both physical electricity and financial portfolio management as well as services to industrial electricity consumers and producers. UPM Energy employs approximately 60 energy professionals. www.upmenergy.com
We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. We employ around 19,100 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 10 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd. UPM Biofore - Beyond fossils. www.upm.com
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SOURCE: UPM Kymmene Corporation