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Neste to power Finnish production facilities using renewable wind energy

image credit: Originally published at Biofuels International

Renewable diesel producer Neste has signed a long-term wind power agreement with clean energy company Fortum, to power two of its production sites in Finland with wind energy.

Neste will purchase around 70% of total production at the Kalax wind farm, which is currently under construction in Närpes, Ostrobothnia in Finland, for a contract period of 12 years.

Total capacity of the contract is over 60MW, and the energy produced will equate to approximately 20% of electricity consumption at the company’s sites in Porvoo and Naantali. The wind power is expected to be used in the facilities from early 2021.

“We are in the business of reducing emissions and accelerating circularity in society,” explained Peter Vanacker, president and CEO of Neste. “As part of our strategy, we have set two ambitious climate targets. In addition to offering renewable and circular solutions to our customers, we are also committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our own production. Investments in renewable energy are one part of this. We have been collaborating with Fortum for years and this first wind power agreement will only deepen our partnership.”

The move to wind power will reduce indirect carbon dioxide emissions of electricity purchases at Neste’s production sites by approximately 40,000 tons every year.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 25, 2019 10:10 pm GMT

Neste will purchase around 70% of total production at the Kalax wind farm, which is currently under construction in Närpes, Ostrobothnia in Finland, for a contract period of 12 years.

I'm assuming this is more on an offset/REC type basis, not that the wind power will directly power the operations. Is that correct?

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Oct 28, 2019 11:44 am GMT

Odd, the words "offset/REC" do not seem to be part of the clean electricity discussion in Finland.  The local power company Helen LTD seems to be offering consumers power in different flavors, including "Basic", "Windpower" and "Environmental", with no discussion of the concept offsets or credits.

Users of windpower, for example, would never accept a black-out every time the wind stopped blowing, so obviously, the electricity delivered is exactly the same as the local grid mix (30% fossil, 34% nuclear, and 36% renewable, according to Helen LTD), and it's the offset credits that people pay extra to buy.

When the dominant energy source is fossil fuel, and the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) causes the construction of new renewable supply, then the RECs seem to have merit.  But when the RECs come from pre-existing hydro (19% of Finnish electricity) or when the discussion turns to deep decarbonization, the REC concept falls apart.

For deep decarbonization, RECs and other offsets become a way to continue using fossil fuel, but hiding it off the books.  Variable renewables become very expensive when there is no fossil fuel crutch to cover the added variability (whether the cost is due to adding storage or transmission or high curtailment).  This needs to be part of the discussion.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 28, 2019 1:48 pm GMT

Odd, the words "offset/REC" do not seem to be part of the clean electricity discussion in Finland. 

This brings up an interesting point-- I'd be curious to see how different countries/regions discuss these concepts and how it correlates to attitudes on energy/fossil energy, success in decarbonization, etc. 

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