Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Flexens, and Lhyfe have jointly launched the Åland Energy Island project, which will integrate offshore wind generation and green hydrogen production in the region.
The Åland Islands, an autonomous region of Finland, maintains copious untapped wind resources that may make the area a key renewable energy player in the wider region, according to Lhyfe.
One of the companies on the project, Flexens, is from Åland, and all three partners represent expertise in renewable energy development.
Lhyfe also recently announced its plans to construct a hydrogen production plant in Germany as well and currently operates the world’s first offshore hydrogen production plant operated by a floating wind turbine. CIP, a manager of greenfield renewable energy funding, has also invested financially in the project. The consortium explains that the project’s development will be done in close collaboration with local government and stakeholders in the area.
“Flexens was founded around the test and demonstration project ‘Smart Energy Åland’ and has in that process developed an in-depth understanding of both the Åland society and its energy system,” said Berndt Schalin, CEO of Flexens. “We see an unprecedented opportunity to create and expand renewable energy-related activities on Åland into a skills and knowledge-based hub for the offshore-based energy future in the whole Baltic Sea region.”
Project Adds to Smart Energy Åland Progress
The wind and hydrogen energy produced by the new project is expected to support the wider European region, and the project will also largely contribute to Åland’s goal of becoming a region completely run on green energy while working to preserve local marine life.
The island’s Smart Energy Åland demonstration was founded in an attempt to show how a whole society may function on 100% renewable energy without increasing costs for consumers. The collaborative project is run by public and private actors in Åland and Finland.
The first three years of the project analyzed technical and financial conditions, and it is now reportedly entering the operational stage. The project relies on a distributed energy model, emphasizing flexible, decentralized systems as key to the future of sustainable energy.
The new offshore wind additions follow the region’s historical commitment to the renewable energy source. The first modern wind power plant was built on the island as early as 1991, and the Åland Wind Energy Cooperative was founded in 1994. It currently maintains an installed capacity of 21 megawatts, with 58 gigawatt hours of annual energy production.