“We want to plan, build and operate about two hundred windmills in Finland within the next five to six years,” says Reimar von Wachholtz who is responsible for the project development in Prokon Regenerative Energien GmbH.
Prokon is cooperating with VASEK (Vaasa Area Development Company) in building wind energy installations. So far, Prokon operates 47 onshore wind farms in Germany and Poland with a nameplate capacity of 525 Megawatt.
Mr. von Wachholtz tells of having met Invest in Finland representatives at Husumwind 2008 - the leading wind energy trade fair, where the idea germinated. However, the right moment to enter Finland came only in 2011 as the feed-in-tariff came into force here.
Positive attitude, good prospects
Prokon is currently now in the process of searching for project managers and team assistants. It intends to recruit 10–12 people soon in the Vaasa region, which von Wachholtz feels is an ideal area to operate in. There the wind is reliable and strong plus it is easy to find well-educated bi-lingual people.
“We were surprised about the widespread possibilities for these projects and the positive attitude towards wind energy,” von Wachholtz describes.
He foresees huge prospects for Prokon in Finland - which is just beginning to start investing seriously in wind energy. It is easier to find locations for wind turbine installations in Finland than in far more densely-populated Germany, which already has plenty of wind farms. In addition, there are few competitors because not many companies both build and operate wind mills.
“Finland’s target is to have 2500 megawatts of installed turbines by 2020. And at the moment, it has got just a little bit more than 200 megawatts. So that means there is a lot for us to do with so much potential.”
Friendly investment climate
“The Finnish investment climate is friendly and building permits can possibly be obtained faster than in other countries," von Wachholtz says.
He also thanks Finland for its excellent opportunities to get connected and finds it pleasing that even German is spoken here as well.
According to von Wachholtz, the role of Invest in Finland was crucial in Prokon’s coming to Finland.