Skarta Energy's Vierivoima project in Utajärvi is moving forward - planning permission for the construction of a solar power plant and Horizon research funding from the EU

Screenshot 2022-09-09 at 12.05.20

The Swedish NYAB Group, based in Luleå, was acquired in April 2022 through a share exchange deal with Nasdaq Helsinki-listed Skarta Abp. The deal led to NYAB's former owner taking majority ownership in the listed company, which was also renamed SkartaNYAB Abp.

"One of the main reasons why we chose a merger with Skarta, and thereby take the back road to the stock exchange, was their initial investments and efforts in a green energy portfolio. In a country and in a market where investments of this kind were possible. Very gratifying that we are now making progress and creating value in Skarta Energy in several areas within this sector. Project development to create green energy sources is possible in Finland, in a completely different way than in Sweden, where we have Europe's slowest processes, which make business initiatives in the energy field almost impossible," says Johan Larsson, CEO SkartaNYAB Abp.

The solar power plant project in Utajärvi was granted planning permission in August and now the first phase of the planning permission has also been approved. The planning permission means that the construction of Finland's largest solar power plant in Utajärvi can begin. In August, both Skarta and Utajärvi municipality also received Horizon funding from the EU, for the transition to clean energy and to explore smart grid solutions for energy distribution, as part of the GLocalFlex project coordinated by VTT.

In March 2021, the municipal board of Utajärvi approved a letter of intent agreement on cooperation to develop the self-sufficiency of the industrial area in Utajärvi using solar and wind power, as well as to produce a filling station for hydrogen as the fuel of the future for transport. In November 2021, Skarta acquired over 100 hectares of disused peatland for a solar power plant and launched plans to build a solar plant. Now the first phase of the project for the business has also received permission. When the project is complete, the entire project will generate approximately 200,000 MWh of electricity, covering the consumption needs of an average of 40,000 people. This is a significant figure for a municipality with approximately 2,600 inhabitants.

The solar power plant is part of Skartas Vierivoima project in Utajärvi. The project also includes a wind farm and, in the near future, a station for the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen energy. The Vierivoima complex will produce renewable energy for an adjacent business and industrial area of over 300 hectares, which will become self-sufficient – Finland's first eco-industrial area.

"Utajärvi is developing into a resource-savvy municipality, which in practice means that resources such as natural resources, raw materials and energy are used in an environmentally sustainable way that promotes people's well-being. Energy is also at the center of the HINKU network, to which Utajärvi belongs. In the municipality's strategy, it has been defined that Utajärvi will be powered by sun, wind, water and hydrogen, and the Vierivoima concept will play an important role in this. Utajärvi is purposefully developing towards carbon neutrality and is a pioneer in the collaboration with Skarta to achieve its goals," says Anne Sormunen, municipal manager in Utajärvi.

In the ongoing energy transition, Skarta's Vierivoima concept is an important piece of the puzzle for both municipalities and industries. Through the local solution for smart grids, emission-free energy can be distributed to customers for a low transmission cost. This will significantly improve the industry's competitiveness and provide cost savings for the public sector,” says Kari Tuominen, CEO of Skarta Energy Oy.

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