Success story

Smålands Miljöenergi’s wind park business model interests Finnish landowners

Smålands Miljöenergi plans to build wind parks in Ostrobothnia, on Finland's west coast. So far around ten projects with approximately 130 full scale wind turbines have been started with the help of Invest in Finland.

Smålands Miljöenergi AB, established in 2009 in Sweden, develops wind parks. The Swedish name of the company refers to environmentally friendly, green energy.


“We build, own and sell windmills,” summarises Otto Werneskog, Managing Director and co-owner of Smålands Miljöenergi.
At the moment the company has three wind park projects in Sweden. One of these has already been built and the construction of the second will start soon.

 

Unique model

 

In 2012, Smålands Miljöenergi established a subsidiary, Österbottens Miljöenergi, in Finland in Ostrobothnia. According to Mr. Werneskog, it´s easier to do business here with a subsidiary.


The first contact with Finnish landowners took place in 2009. “We were invited to speak at a seminar organized by the Finnish landowners´ organization. The landowners were interested in our unique business model which means that we can build wind turbines on their property and in return they get paid when we start production and sell electricity to the grid,” Werneskog explains.


“It is also possible for the landowners to get a small share of the turbine's output. But, it is important that they are involved in the project and feel comfortable. This model has proven to be successful: up to now, we have signed a contract with 1,200 land owners in Ostrobothnia and around ten projects are under way.”


If everything goes smoothly with the processing of permits, construction of the first wind park in Ostrobothnia will start at the end of 2013.


Partners are needed

 

There were many reasons why Smålands Miljöenergi decided to come to Finland. “First of all, the landowners wanted us here: they like our model and want to be involved in these projects. Secondly, there is lots of wind in the Ostrobothnia area - and the Finnish electrical grid is good too,” Werneskog states.


“We also see a lot of opportunities in Finland: there is only a small amount of wind power energy generated now but according to EU rules, Finland has to increase the amount of its renewable energy by 2020. The number of turbines required to meet its quota will be around 1,000 when the total is now only 150.”


Smålands Miljöenergi builds and owns the turbines, but it also wants to sell them on and retain only a minority share for itself. The company is actively looking for new partners to whom to sell to and with whom to share ownership.


“The personnel of Invest in Finland have helped us to find partners with whom we can cooperate. The staff has been very friendly and professional not to mention how much information they have given. Our cooperation has been going very well, and it still continues,” Werneskog says.


About the future prospects Mr. Werneskog states that his company wants to implement renewable and environmentally friendly energy – and it can be anywhere.