Long and strong co-operation between Ilmatar and Numerola: Case Piiparinmäki wind farm

Numerola, a specialist in wind resource and wind energy yield assessment, has successfully supported Ilmatar Energy in sale of the 211.4 MW Piiparinmäki wind farm project in central Finland. As a result of the financing process, Glennmont Partners, one of Europe’s largest clean energy fund managers, acquired Project Piiparinmäki from Ilmatar Energy, a joint venture between Omnes-managed Capenergie 3 and Ilmatar Windpower plc.

To support Ilmatar Energy during the financing process, Numerola provided a variety of assessment services bringing together a multidisciplinary team of experts to undertake an integrated assessment and review of different aspects, such as wind measurement quality and wind resource assessments, simulation of various lay-out and turbine specification scenarios, turbine site assessment as well as energy yield assessment that were documented in a thorough way meeting the international standards. Numerola’s team also collaborated closely with the developer to ensure that the selected turbine model best demonstrated the characteristics to operate within the challenging environment.

Erkka Saario, CEO of Ilmatar Energy, is satisfied with the cooperation:

“The challenging environment and complex site topography meant that Numerola’s collaborative approach to turbine selection, layout, and placement was crucial to guarantee maximum energy production over the life-time of the wind farm. Profound knowledge of preparing such assessments played an important role in the successful implementation of the project.”

About Piiparinmäki wind farm

Piiparinmäki onshore wind farm, located in central Finland, is ready to build with construction commenced in October 2019. It will be powered by 28 Vestas EnVentus V150-5.6 MW wind turbines and 13 Vestas V150-4.2 MW wind turbines. Once operational, the Piiparinmäki wind farm will be the largest wind farm in Finland, a significant wind power asset in the Nord Pool area, and one of the largest unsubsidized wind farms in Europe.

Erkka Saario


Ilmatar Energy Ltd

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Ilmatar Energy LtdErkka Saario, CEO

Wind modeling helps industrial dust management

Fertilizer manufacturer Yaran Siilinjärvi has the only phosphate mine in Europe. Ore is extracted from the open pit, which has been operating since 1979. Ore is enriched into apatite concentrate. It is made into phosphorus as a raw material for fertilizers and feed phosphates. The excess aggregate from the enrichment process, or tailings, is pumped to a landfill area of approximately 500 hectares, which is growing at an annual rate of 10 million tonnes. The challenge for the dumping area is dust rising from the area in windy weather. Those side effects have been minimized by various means, such as irrigation, various chemicals and snow plows.

Decommissioned landfills are landscaped and planted with vegetation to bind dust. Yara is constantly looking for new ways to reduce harm and improve safety. At the beginning of 2020, Yara Siilinjärvi launched a modeling project with Numerola, which investigated the wind conditions in the area and also future scenarios.

– We wanted to use wind modeling to find out how different wind conditions affect the dust sensitivity of a landfill. We chose Numerola because they had convincing experience of similar projects, says Mikko Airaksinen, Yara Siilinjärvi’s infrastructure manager.

Wind modeling will help see until 2035

The environmental permit requires the prevention of dusting, as well as continuous monitoring and documentation. Yara Siilinjärvi wanted to find out how dust sensitivity could be proactively reduced with structural solutions, such as support embankments.

Numerola made accurate wind modeling based on flow calculations for 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2035 – taking into account the continuous change in the area, the increase in altitude and the impact of climate change on wind.

– We started cooperating with Numerola in early 2020. In the first phase, the current wind conditions in the landfill were modeled. We found that the edge and support embankments of the basins form less windy areas. This observation inspired us to order a follow-up study that modeled how lowering or raising the height of the embankments affects wind conditions.

Useful information for dust management

A new type of paste disposal technology introduced a couple of years ago has reduced annual dusting. Based on the wind modeling, the area can be designed and built with solutions that further reduce dusting.

The topographies made by Numerola helped to outline the future. It is a huge area that is constantly increasing in height. We now have a clear vision of how we can leverage the results in the design and operational work of the area’s structures. We have already further refined our plans based on the results.

The collaboration with Numerola increased the understanding of the possibilities of simulation in the mining industry.

– The cooperation was smooth and rewarding in all respects. We learned a lot about the possibilities of modeling.

Mikko Airaksinen

Infrastructure manager

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Yara Suomi OyMikko Airaksinen, infrastructure manager

Numerola's storm damage modeling helps target investments correctly

LE-Sähköverkko Ltd carried out a comprehensive storm damage modeling for its electricity distribution network with Numerola. Storm damage modeling brought systematicity and certainty to decision-making. The information is utilized in the maintenance and renewal of the network.

LE-Sähköverkko Ltd is an electricity network company owned by Lahti Energia Ltd, which takes care of the security of supply of the electricity transmission and distribution network in Lahti area. The company has a total of 4800 kilometers of electricity network maintained in Lahti, Hollola and Asikkala regions. In town areas, the electricity network is mainly made in underground, but in sparsely populated areas there are still about 400 kilometers of medium voltage power lines in the air. In 2019, LE-Sähköverkko ordered storm damage modeling for this medium voltage network.

– Our mission is to guarantee the uninterrupted and cost-effective distribution of electricity to customers in our area. Security of supply requires us to continuously monitor, maintain and renew the electricity network. We know our area quite well, but we wanted accurate storm damage modeling of the entire power grid to support planning and decision making. Numerola’s service was cheap compared to the benefits we received, says Antti Rautiainen, CEO of LE-Sähköverkko Ltd.

There are alternatives to underground cabling once risky areas have been identified

Overhead line repair costs and timber clearing costs caused by storm damage are a significant expense for network companies. Still, ground cabling should not be done for safety reasons, especially if the overhead lines still have decades of life expectancy. Once risk areas are identified in advance, the necessary network improvement measures can be planned and implemented before storm damages occur.

– Storm damage modeling brought systematic and certainty to investment-related decision-making. The information helps us to prioritize measures aimed at improving the security of supply of the electricity network. If the overhead line still has lifetime remaining, we will clear the identified risk trees instead of accomplishing underground cabling. Smaller investments also lead to lower prices for our customers. We also utilize modeling data in the timing of underground cabling investments, Rautiainen states.

Storm damage modeling data is long-lasting and versatile

Numerola’s modeling combines network data with data from terrain and trees and builds wind model based on precise physics. The modeling provides reliable information on different wind scenarios.

– Storm damage modeling required just little work from us. We received an illustrative digital report from Numerola with various comprehensive scenarios. We took the information generated by the modeling into our network information system. Our design and maintenance experts can utilize the information produced by modeling directly from our system, Rautiainen says.

Antti Rautiainen


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Photos: https://instagram.com/isbergdesigncom

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LE-Sähköverkko LtdAntti Rautiainen, CEO

Our wide-ranging understanding ensures accurate results interpretation
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Valmet Technologies LtdJyrki Huovila, Manager Technology