Elisa brings smart solar energy management to the Åland Islands


Elisa’s Distributed Energy Storage (DES) solution will allow Åland Islands’ operator Ålcom to use and store solar energy, reducing its reliance on the national grid

This week, Ålcom, a telecoms operator from Finland’s autonomous Åland Islands, has revealed a new deal with Elisa to use the latter’s DES solution, leveraging solar panels deployed at sites across Ålcom’s mobile network.

Elisa first unveiled its DES solution early last year, saying it intends to turn its Finnish network into the largest virtual power plant in Europe.

The technology works by using AI and machine learning to intelligently charge and discharge energy storage batteries located at mobile sites. In this way, the batteries can purchase and store energy from the national grid when it is most cheaply available, making use of these reserves as needed when prices go up due to increased demand.

As part of the solution, the mobile base stations power consumption can be dynamically altered to balance the availability of energy resources. In some scenarios, this means the sites will even be able to sell excess power back to the energy grid.

Elisa has already deployed this solution across its network in Finland.

Now, this new partnership with Ålcom will not only see the DES tech rolled out across the operator’s mobile network but will also include the integration of solar for the first time. This, the companies say, will not only help reduce the company’s energy costs, but also greatly reduce its carbon footprint.

“We are delighted to add solar energy to our operations with Elisa DES. This investment is part of Ålcom’s continued commitment to sustainability. Including solar production in the energy mix helps us reduce costs and gain flexibility and means to cope with variability and uncertainty in energy generation, demand, and grid availability. DES, in combination with the larger Li-Ion batteries used in the solution, will also be critical should we ever be cut off from the grid for a longer period of time,” said Peter Löfman, Head of Network at Ålcom.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

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