Reforms in Sweden will strengthen the country’s hydropower system and support goals to increase the share of renewable energy.

The Untra power plant, commissioned in 1918, is one of energy company Fortum’s oldest hydropower plants, which was originally built to cover the electricity needs of the entire Stockholm area in Sweden. Although the area’s electricity production is nowadays strengthened by several other power generation units, the over 100-year-old hydropower plant is still in operation.

Fortum has been intending to modernise its Untra power plant for several years already, and now the time to launch this large-scale project has arrived. VEO was selected for the task of building an automation system (covering all voltage levels) in this major renovation project.

“Precise planning and design are needed when connecting the old plant architecture to today’s technology. Fortunately, the renovation of old plants is VEO’s core competence. It’s an honour to be involved in the modernisation of this historic plant and to help extend its life cycle,” says Ville Vieri, Sales Manager responsible for the project at VEO.

Another hydropower project in the design phase is the modernisation of Skellefteå Kraft’s Rengård hydropower plant. Skellefteå Kraft is investing in a new turbine and generator at the Rengård plant. At the same time, they are upgrading the plant’s electrification and automation systems to more advanced versions, which VEO was selected to supply.

“The extensive delivery covers the renewal of all systems inside the plant, as well as a new switchyard. Altogether, the reforms will improve both the plant’s energy production level and its reserve capacity. The project has also been informative for us, as we have found new solution models through project-related consulting, which we can utilise in our future projects,” says Vieri.

Planning for both projects has already begun, and deliveries to the sites will take place during the spring and summer of 2021.

“Both Fortum and Skellefteå Kraft are our long-term customers, and we are pleased that both have once again chosen VEO as their cooperation partner. It’s also great that hydropower, in general, is being strengthened through reforms, thus promoting the role of renewable energy in power generation.”