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UPM Energy's Kuusankoski hydropower plant renovation completed - 'More electricity with the same amount of water'

  • Jun 2, 2023
ENP Newswire

UPM Energy's Kuusankoski hydropower plant's extensive renovation project has been completed, except for some finalisations, and the plant is in commercial use.

With the overhaul and modernisation that started in 2019, the efficiency of the power plant improved by about six percentage points to 94% and the turbine capacity increased by 19% to about 37 MW. The plant's average annual energy production will increase from 180 GWh to approximately 195 GWh.

In practice, we are now able to produce more electricity with the same amount of water. All three turbines at the power plant have been renewed and the generator units have been modernised. We also renewed the automation and protection systems and one of the power plant's main transformers. The power plant's own backup power system was also renewed to make it more efficient,' says Pekka Pollari, Manager, Hydropower at UPM Energy.

The Kuusankoski hydropower plant is located at the River Kymi in Kouvola, Finland. The hydropower plant was built at the end of the 1940s, and it was previously renovated at the end of 1990s. The latest renovation did not affect the statutory fishery obligations set for the power plant.

Modern hydropower technology is significantly safer for the environment. As an example, the amount of hydraulic oil in the plant has been significantly reduced with the high-pressure turbine control system,' Pollari notes.

Hydropower balances the volatility of solar and wind power

Renewable forms of energy are growing rapidly in Finland: the wind power capacity increased by 75% last year, for example. Hydropower is becoming more essential with the increase of weather-dependent renewable energy sources in particular since hydropower is an important source of balancing power. Hydropower is at its best when it is used to respond to demand fluctuations and to balance energy production when it is not sunny or windy.

Balancing power is needed to stabilise the grid, and with the new automation system, the production of balancing power is now even more efficient,' Pollari explains.

Electrification of the society is advancing at a rapid pace due to urbanisation and the reduction of fossil emissions. Hydropower contributes to the ever-growing need for low-emission electricity and self-sufficiency.


Tel: +358 2041 52587

UPM Energy is the second largest electricity producer in Finland. We generate zero-carbon electricity in our own and co-owned power plants. In addition, we sell electricity and its derivatives on the electricity market and drive the energy transformation.


We deliver renewable and responsible solutions and innovate for a future beyond fossils across six business areas: UPM Fibres, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Communication Papers and UPM Plywood. As the industry leader in responsibility, we are committed to the UN Business Ambition for 1.5-degreeC and the science-based targets to mitigate climate change. We employ 17,200 people worldwide and our annual sales are approximately EUR 11.7 billion. Our shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.


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