Joint purchase of solar power Joint purchase of solar power

FINLAND, North Karelia

by: Regional Council of North Karelia (Public authority)

S3 domain: Forest based bioeconomy (and renewable energies)

Energy topics:    Solar energy (Photovoltaics (PV) and Concentrated solar power (CSP)   

Innovation type:    Commercial    /    Managerial    /    Public sector    /    Social

Level of Good Practice implementation:     Regional

DESCRIPTION


Joint purchase of solar power for private buildings was organized as a part of North Karelia Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon Area project. 250 interested private persons were contacted during this process and in the end 41 solar power systems were installed with a total power capacity of 142,4 kWp. Regional Council of North Karelia requested tenders for 2,5, 4,5 and 7 kWp units and compared the offers. Prices were approximately 30 % lower than average market price.

The objective of North Karelia Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon Area project is to increase the share of renewable energy in the region. The project is looking for and testing new kind of methods for developing markets for cleantech solutions and products. Joint procurements and purchases are one of the tested methods.
The Regional Council of North Karelia and the Finnish Environment Institute together with the Carbon Neutral Municipalities (HINKU) network planned and organized joint purchase for solar power units which was addressed to residents of North Karelian HINKU-municipalities and to private companies. Responsible parties organized five info-events in different municipalities, advertised in and communicated through local and regional newspapers, social media etc. More than 250 persons were contacted during this process. Planning of the purchase took place in July-August 2016, events were organized in September 2016, registration in October-November 2016, invitation to tender in December 2016, comparison of the offers in January 2017, and installations of 41 solar power units in April-June 2017.

Joint purchase was a part of North Karelia Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon Area strategy. Main organizer was the Regional Council of North Karelia and expertise help was received from the Finnish Environment Institute. Regional HINKU-municipalities participated in the process by offering venues for events and by promoting joint purchase for residents. Target groups were residents of the North Karelian HINKU-municipalities and private companies.

Stakeholders involved in implementation

  • Public authority
  • Research actors
  • Industry
  • Civil society

Beneficiaries

  • Industry
  • Civil society

 

Promoting, request for tenders, comparison of the tenders were implemented through North Karelia Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon Area strategy. Joint Purchase was made together with Finnish Environment Institute which is a sectoral research institute. They were not investigating technological novelties but are developing and investigating methods for joint purchases. Contractor and participators made bilateral turnkey contracts. The last of the 41 solar power plants had been installed in June 2017.

European regional development fund, Future Fund (regional)

Public funding sources

  • ESIF T04 (low carbon economy)
  • Local Funds

Results achieved

41 new solar power plants for private buildings were installed in North Karelia with a total power capacity of 142,4 kWp. The price for the purchase was approximately 30 % lower than average market price because of the amount of participants. New distributed energy production units were produced. 

Future perspectives

Solar power is increasingly seen as a cost-effective way of producing energy also in Finland. Joint purchases have offered an easy way for purchasing solar power. The method has been tested now for couple of times and it is easy to spread to other areas.

HIGHLIGHTS

Joint purchase of solar power in North Karelia for private buildings is so far the biggest joint purchase organized with this kind of method.

Most important difficulties

Convincing participants that joint purchase method really works. 

Lessons learned

Timing of the joint purchase especially in the case of solar power is an important factor. People are more interested in solar power when the sun is shining. For this reason, late spring was chosen as the suitable timing for installations and communication with participants.

Joint purchase is easy to transfer to other areas. It would be very interesting to hear how this method works in other EU-countries. 

Type

  • Infrastructure
  • Key actors Platform (for regional cooperation)
  • Awareness-raising

Highlights

  • Relevance to national and/or regional energy strategy
  • High impact potential
  • Civil society participation
  • Transferability of the practice

References:

North Karelia Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon Area – Project: http://pohjois-karjala.fi/web/hinku (in Finnish only)

Contact person:

Anniina Kontiokorpi, Regional Council of North Karelia, anniina.kontiokorpi@pohjois-karjala.fi, +358 50 414 4816