EPV Energy turns 70

EPV Energy (EPV) is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The company has been producing energy responsibly since 1952. EPV was born out of the region’s growing demand for electricity and the desire to meet this demand by working together. The concept of competitive production of electricity and heating for shareholders has remained unchanged throughout EPV’s history. Today, EPV is a strong company and a major producer of electricity with an important role to play: to generate emission-free electricity and thereby help society as a whole to meet its emission targets.

EPV Energy has its roots in Ostrobothnia. The company was created when demand for electricity began to rise and concerns about the region’s future were raised. Several small power stations decided to merge and form their own joint energy company.

From the outset, EPV has invested in its own power generation, which it started to develop as soon as the company was founded. In 1954, EPV started planning the first power plant of its own in Vaskiluoto, Vaasa. The plant started operations in 1958. In 1972, EPV became a shareholder in Teollisuuden Voima and thus became involved in the construction of a nuclear power plant. In 1981, nuclear powered generation started at Olkiluoto 1 and in 1982 at Olkiluoto 2. Teollisuuden Voima’s Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) plant started generating electricity on the 12th of March 2022. Thanks to OL3, EPV Energy’s zero-emission electricity production will increase significantly and the share of nuclear power in EPV’s electricity production will exceed 40%.

Since then, EPV Energy’s operations have expanded to cover the whole of Finland. In the last few decades, the Group has made a determined effort to achieve emission-free energy generation. Back in the mid-2000s, the company recognised that wind power is one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Today, EPV is one of the leading operators in industrial-scale wind-power production in Finland. The company’s sixth wind farm is currently under construction in Närpes, and the next few are already being planned. In 2021, around 22.8% of EPV’s electricity generation came from wind power. The company doesn’t just focus on wind power but has its first industrial-scale solar farms in the pipeline too.

In addition to being environmentally responsible, EPV Energy is known for its innovativeness and ability to think outside the box. The company has made significant improvements in its energy generation portfolio, which has resulted in a considerable reduction of carbon dioxide emissions over the last few decades. EPV aims to achieve carbon-neutral power generation by 2030. In 2021, 84.2% of EPV Energy’s electricity generation was emission-free.

New electricity from zero-emission sources

The current state of our planet requires great changes and the acceleration of driving down emissions. As a socially responsible company, EPV has stepped up these efforts.

EPV Energy has defined a new zero-emission goal for its business activities and, at the same time, developed a new strategy for the Group in 2021 that bears the name New Electricity Revolution®. At the heart of this strategy is renewable electricity, with new technologies to manage its generation, storage and use.

-“Our strategy models the reform of the energy production system for society as a whole. The only sources of new electricity in the future will be the zero-emission energy sources of solar, wind, hydro and nuclear, which are at the heart of our strategy. In addition, we will utilise emission-free raw material flows, such as forest energy, and circular economy products, such as industrial producer gases. The change will also bring us new business opportunities,” says EPV Energy’s CEO Rami Vuola.

-“Through these actions, we are not only making our own operations emission-free, but also helping society to meet its emissions reduction targets,” Vuola continues.

Flexibility in the energy system to complement renewable energy

In the old world, electricity was produced to match consumption. A large part of the energy we will use in the future will come from wind and the sun, and its availability will obviously be determined by nature.

-“Because the availability of new electricity will depend on nature, the new energy system will be more difficult to control, resulting in variations in price according to availability. Consequently, as well as production investments, EPV will have to engage in a lot of other activities too, to ensure it can manage the system. The energy system of the future will need more and more flexible production and consumption management and the ability to store energy,” says Vuola.

Investments will need to be made to guarantee energy supplies in all circumstances. The demand for electricity will keep growing, as society relies on it more and more. This makes the flexibility of the electricity system even more important. The need for flexible elements and ever better risk management is also fuelled by the price volatility in the energy market.

-“But such price turbulence is the new norm in the market, and we need to adapt to it. When electricity is expensive, we need to be able to reduce its consumption, while when the price falls, we need to increase it,” Vuola states.

In the world of new electricity, we have energy reserves and new industry that is run purely on the terms of electricity supply. Traditional consumption is also becoming flexible.

-“Energy storage solutions are one of our key areas of investment to increase flexibility. The storage facilities allow for the decoupling of production from the moment of use, which significantly improves the reliability of the zero-emission energy system. These investments must be located in places where they are cost-effective to build and have optimal efficiency.”

EPV’s owners will continue to receive increasing returns on their investments

EPV’s vision of competitive electricity and heat production for its shareholders has not faded and this work is still going strong.

-“Together with our shareholders, we aim to be a competitive player in the field of renewable energy. Our owners will continue to receive increasing returns on their investments. We are looking to the future and the opportunities that technological advancements will bring. As the world changes, we need to make investments, even bold ones, to meet the energy needs of the future. The use of hydrogen to increase flexibility and store energy is one of our major projects involving new technology,” Vuola reveals.

Towards a zero-emission world with a top team

Large changes require the best experts at the helm.

-“I want to extend my sincere thanks to the whole EPV organisation and our partners for their important work, progressive solutions and visionary projects. It goes without saying that experiments in new technologies require top know-how. Optimised electricity trading and the forecasting of wind-power production are based on demanding algorithms and artificial intelligence, which EPV is already capitalising on successfully. We have good reason to be proud of our world-class energy know-how. Expertise is the number one tool for a successful New Electricity Revolution,” Vuola concludes.

For more information contact: Rami Vuola, CEO of EPV Energy Ltd, tel. +358 10 5055 044

Read more about EPV Energy’s history here: https://www.epv.fi/en/company/history/

EPV’s strategy story: https://www.epv.fi/en/company/the-new-electricity-revolution/