Research and development

The volume of research and development (R&D) activities increased substantially during the year under review, amounting to EUR 3.6 (2.6) million. Most of the research activities were outsourced to universities, research institutions and other players. Fingrid’s own work mainly consisted of thesis projects and steering of R&D projects. Fingrid’s role in R&D activities is increasingly becoming that of an expert in national and international research consortiums, bringing to the table a point of view that serves the entire power system and society’s needs. On the other hand, R&D co-operation with start-ups, technology providers and research institutions is an effective way of gaining access to the best expertise.

The biggest R&D involvements were in grid asset maintenance management and grid development within the framework of securing transmission capacity (57% of the total R&D costs). The second most important target for resources (25%) was the development of the electricity market. The development of system security management received 16% of the expenditure. The rest of the costs were allocated to several projects. The biggest overall project is the digitalisation of grid substation maintenance management, utilising affordable sensors and smart analytics for equipment monitoring. Other extensive R&D projects included, as in 2017, the development of flexible markets and the development of calculation methodologies in compliance with European network codes to make transmission capacity available to the markets.

Fingrid also participated in Nordic R&D co-operation, where one of the goals is to secure future system security in Nordic grids. The results from the R&D projects completed in 2018 include updated requirements for frequency-controlled disturbance reserves and new system defence plans in case of decreasing system inertia of the grid (kinetic energy). The Nordic development project for a control scheme to avoid power shortage additionally proceeded to the roll-out planning stage. The updated power shortage control scheme improves the system defence against very serious disturbances that place the system security of the Nordic grid system at risk as a consequence of several simultaneous faults.