Tuesday September 21, 2021

UPM invests in ultracapacitor at Ontojoki hydropower plants

Published : 14 Sep 2021, 01:28

  DF Report

UPM Lappeenrata Biorefinery. File Photo: UPM.

The forest-based bio-industry company UPM Energy is investing in an ultracapacitor at its Ontojoki hydropower plants in Kuhmo, said UPM in a press release on Monday.

The ultracapacitor will be the first of its kind to be used in a hydropower system and the investment will enable UPM Energy to deliver more and faster reserves from hydropower plants.

The investment is a full-size industrial pilot project, with the aim to test an innovative technology created to meet the changing electricity market demands and enable more renewable energy in the transmission system.

UPM Energy is a significant producer of hydropower and reserve power. With this investment UPM Energy will be the first to pilot multiple hydropower plants with ultracapacitor energy storage as part of a hydropower system.

Two hydropower plants, Kallioinen and Katerma, are being combined under one optimisation and control entity, using modern digital systems and automation processes.

“An ultracapacitor, combined with hydropower can react in milliseconds and produce energy in extensive range, even for days if needed. It has the potential to bring in a new type of asset for the future reserve market”, said Juha Haromo, Development Manager at UPM Energy.

Ultracapacitors are electrostatic devices that can be quickly discharged at high power and continuously react in milliseconds without losing capacity. Unlike batteries, the materials used for manufacturing ultracapacitors are generally available. Ultracapacitors are relatively maintenance free and have a significantly longer lifespan than batteries.

Construction work will begin in autumn 2021 and the aim is to connect the ultracapacitor system to Katerma and Kallioinen power plants during the second quarter of 2022. The ultracapacitor will not have any effect on dam safety or any effects on water usage or in the aquatic environment. Adding an ultracapacitor to a hydropower plant reduces the very rapid control needs of a hydropower plant and enables smooth production control.