Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Fimer shines in Lemene smart-grid project

Steve Rogerson
August 11, 2020

Italian solar inverter maker Fimer has provided technology as part of a smart grid in the Lemene Project, a self-sufficient and intelligent energy community comprising a 4MW solar ground-mounted installation.
Situated in the Marjamäki industrial area in the municipality of Lempäälä in Finland, it supplies 12MW of electricity to around 300 businesses within its industrial energy community. The photovoltaic (PV) system forms part of the smart grid network to deliver self-sufficiency for businesses in the area.
Finland’s PV growth has accelerated in the past few years to more than 50 per cent within one year, as the Finnish state releases funds and investment subsidies for renewable energy projects including solar power.
The  project is part of a wider drive by the Finnish government to increase the use of renewable energy by 50 per cent, and self-sufficiency to more than 55 per cent. It was also one of 11 projects to receive funding from the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs & Employment – €4.74m – and enables businesses to participate actively in the energy market, with the community able to sell surplus energy back to the grid.
As one of the largest solar PV fields in Finland, the Lemene Project has an annual output of 3600MWh, which corresponds to the electricity consumption of a total of 1620 apartment building flats.
The Lemene Project is focused on attracting energy intensive industries to reduce carbon emissions and enable industries to access different forms of renewable energy. Based on the power production within the first half of 2020, the solar plant is expected to achieve a CO2 reduction of approximately 3500 tons per annum.
Working with solar installers Solarigo and Kiwatti, Lempäälän Energia will use Fimer’s PVS980-58 central inverters that were specified as part of the PV installation.
Suited to larger PV sites, the PVS980-58 comes in a dual layer aluminium and stainless-steel enclosure that can withstand Finland’s harsh ambient conditions and freezing winter temperatures. 
Fimer’s central inverter technology is crucial in enabling Lempäälän Energia’s customers to access cost effective energy supply and provide high energy yields and efficiency in on- and off-grid modes for energy independence.
The inverter also has a self-contained cooling system. This is designed for demanding applications and harsh environments, cutting maintenance costs and ensuring endurance.
“This is a highly innovative and prestigious project, with ambitious targets for greater decentralisation and energy self-sufficiency within Finland,” said Filippo Carzaniga, chairman of Fimer’s board. “A key priority for us was to ensure that the technology could consistently perform and work in synergy with other renewable sources, withstanding the varied weather conditions in Finland without compromising on the yield. As the first installation of this product in Finland, Fimer is proud to be part of such a pioneering project.”
With simple and fast commissioning, the plant is generating 35 per cent of its energy from solar. Fimer will be extending its support to onsite engineers with a training programme on preventative maintenance.  
“Fimer’s on-going commitment, training and support has been critical as we embed solar into the energy landscape of Finland,” said Kai-Kristian Koskinen, head of electrical business at Lempäälän Energia. “Following the success of the project, we are now looking at how we can extract heat from the solar system for co-generation and we are also investing further in a 1MW solar plant over the next five years.”
As part of its commitment to deliver a new era in solar, Fimer is investing in R&D to deliver durable solar technologies. This year, Fimer will open multimillion-dollar Helsinki based development facilities with significant laboratory upgrades. The facilities and its team support testing and verification of inverters for safe operation and endurance across a wide range of climatic conditions, including the compatibility with grid codes, as well as testing and measuring harmonics and grid interactions.