Project lifecycle

Planning and implementation of a wind power project

The launching of a wind power project can be initiated by many different instances: companies specialised in wind power projects, energy companies, municipalities, landowners, local businesses, etc. In Finland, wind power projects are implemented by different-sized Finnish and overseas companies specialised in the planning of wind power projects, Finnish energy companies, and so-called Mankala companies owned by them. 42 percent of wind power projects in Finland are in Finnish ownership (in 2023).

The total duration of a medium-sized wind power project (about 10 wind turbines) from preliminary studies to a completed wind farm is an average of 4-6 years. A small project of a few turbines may be ready to generate electricity in under two years from the preliminary studies. The progress of the project depends on many factors, for example, the scheduling of assessments to be made and to which extent the completion of the wind power project is a familiar process for the municipality and the regional authorities.

Project phases

In a nutshell, the following phases must be completed in a wind power project, and these phases may often overlap:

  1. Feasibility study and seeking a suitable area
  2. Negotiations with the municipality and the landowner of the area, drawing up lease agreements.
  3. Requesting a statement from the Finnish Defence Forces
  4. Preliminary negotiations with the system operator
  5. Starting wind measurements
  6.  Contact authority’s (ELY Centre) decision on whether the environmental impact assessment procedure (EIA) will be applied and, if necessary, starting the EIA procedure. Today, the land use plan can be expanded to also meet the requirements of the EIA legislation, in which case no separate EIA is carried out.
  7. Land use planning of the area for wind power use. Even if the EIA is carried out as a separate process, land use planning and EIA are usually completed concurrently. In such a case, for example, hearings can be arranged at the same time.
  8. Final negotiations with the system operator
  9. Applying for licences
  10. Network connection contract
  11. Earth construction work
  12. Acquisition of turbines and start of construction.