Utajärvi solar power project first to sign agreement with CINEA

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 26.3.2024 13.29
Press release
Solar panels in a meadow

The Utajärvi solar power project of Oulun Seudun Sähkö is the first Finnish project that has signed a grant agreement under the EU renewable energy financing mechanism with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency CINEA.

Together with seven other projects, the solar power farm to be built in Utajärvi was selected in a tender organised by CINEA last autumn to a financing programme where EUR 40 million in funding is made available to support solar PV projects located in Finland.

The solar project in Loukkaanaro, Utajärvi was the first project under the financing programme to proceed to the signing of the agreement. According to CINEA, the grant agreements with the other awarded projects will be signed in the upcoming weeks.

The co-financing allocated through CINEA will be used to build a solar power farm with a capacity of 20 MW to Loukkaanaro. It will be located in a field that is about 25 hectares in size, where 30,000 solar panels will be placed. The annual electricity output of the solar farm will be about 20,000 megawatt-hours. According to Oulun Seudun Sähkö, the farm should be ready by the end of 2025. The conditions for the grant include that the farm must be ready and in use within 24 months from the date when the agreement was signed.

The total capacity of the eight solar energy projects to be located in Finland will be about 280 MW. The total support of EUR 40 million awarded to these is financed through the EU renewable energy financing mechanism, and the contributing country is Luxembourg. The commitment by Finland and Luxembourg was the first commitment of EU Member States concerning the use of the financing mechanism. The commitment was signed in February 2023, after which CINEA organised the tender for solar PV projects in Finland.

In the financing mechanism the EU offers the Member States a channel administered by the Commission for implementing joint projects. Under the mechanism, the “contributing Member State” (in this case, Luxembourg) will receive in return for its funding 80% of the renewable energy production of the projects financed by the mechanism as a statistical transfer for a period of 15 years. The “host country” (Finland) will allow the construction of the projects financed by the mechanism in its territory and benefit from the investments and the energy generated. National legislation will apply to the projects to be supported in all respects.

The European Commission and CINEA manage the call for applications, payments and other practical matters directly with the project developers. The coordinating authority for the financing mechanism in Finland is the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Outi Vilén, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 016, outi.vilen(at)gov.fi
Jukka Kaarre, director, solar power, Oulun Seudun Sähkö, tel. +358 40 823 1415, jukka.kaarre(at)oss.fi