Kaustinen-based company Esari and pan-Nordic company Eltel Networks have been collaborating since the previous millennium. In the 2020s, Esari has been closely involved in the energy transition, partnering with Eltel in substation construction.
Energy production is moving strongly towards solutions that promote sustainable development. Over the next few years, a total of 450 wind farms will be built in Finland, both along the country's western coast and inland between the Finnish cities of Pori and Kuusamo.
Esari has a strong foothold in the Finnish market as a manufacturer of buildings designed to shelter electrical substations. Modern power production requires infrastructure partners that are in tune with the times, and Esari’s expertise is highly valued in the competitive tendering for projects. Esari has recently been involved in various projects as a substation building supplier to Eltel, a leading Nordic field service provider for power and communication networks.
Eltel and Esari worked together at the Polusjärvi wind farm, which was completed in Pyhäjoki last spring. Photo: Eltel.
At the moment, Esari and Eltel are working on the Alajoki-Peuralinna wind farm project in Perho in the Central Ostrobothnia region of Finland. Last spring saw the completion of another joint project, the Polusjärvi wind farm in Pyhäjoki, located in Northern Ostrobothnia.
Eltel is supplying the substation for the Alajoki-Peuralinna wind farm, with Esari supplying the substation buildings that will house the substation that connects the wind farm to the grid. The buildings will be manufactured by Esari and delivered directly to the wind farm site.
“Eltel is connecting the wind farm’s 110 kV substation to the high-voltage distribution network”, explains Jari Ruotsalainen, project manager at Eltel.
“The power supply transformer we are supplying converts the voltage from the wind farm’s internal network voltage, which at this substation is 30 kV.”
Eltel built this substation for the Oltava wind farm. On the right is the substation building supplied by Esari. Photo: Eltel.
“Esari supplies the substation buildings and we handle the rest. This is a tried and tested concept. Esari delivers the substation buildings as ready-to-use packages – everything is just as it should be and runs like clockwork”, says Tero Pietikäinen, who was the Eltel project manager for the Polusjärvi wind farm project.
The substation switchgear connects to the power supply transformer, which has connections to the wind turbines. The wind turbines themselves are supplied by different contractor, whose equipment will have a dedicated room in the substation building.
According to Pietikäinen, wind farms are currently popping up like mushrooms across Finland, and experts in the field are in high demand.
“A lot of projects are being planned at the moment. We are seeing a real wind farm boom”, says Pietikäinen.
Eltel project manager Jari Ruotsalainen. Photo: Eltel.
Eltel is the leading Northern European provider of technical services for power and communication networks, with operations in all the Nordic countries except Iceland. Eltel has about 1,500 employees in Finland, and Esari and Eltel have been working together on many different projects for decades.
“Our collaboration with Eltel began in the 1990s. Back then, the company operated under a different name, but it became part of Eltel in the early 2000s. We have been working together on different kinds of projects for decades now”, says Esari’s managing director, Ari Rauma.
Eltel project manager Jari Ruotsalainen appreciates the expertise Esari has. The two companies have most recently worked together at four different sites.
“Reliability and communication are crucial at sites that require high-level expertise. Our work with Esari has gone exactly as agreed, and everything has been delivered on time”, says Ruotsalainen.
Esari’s new 700-square-metre production facilities are designed for the production of steel-framed equipment shelters.
In October 2021, Esari opened new production facilities in the company’s hometown Kaustinen that have increased the company’s competitive strength.
“Our facilities for the manufacture of wooden-framed equipment shelters, which were completed in 2008, became too small to house our expanding operations”, says Rauma.
Esari's production of steel-framed equipment shelters, commonly used for substations, has increased in response to recent years' rising demand. At the moment, these structures make up 35% of Esari’s sales.
Completed in October 2021, Esari's new 700-square-metre production building includes staff facilities and is designed to meet the growing demand for steel-framed equipment shelters.
“Our new facility streamlines our logistics and increases the efficiency of our operations. We now have dedicated production facilities for both wood- and steel-framed equipment shelters”, Rauma says.