🇫🇮 Opening ceremony for Alajärvi wind farm – landowner Matti Pesonen building a better world for his descendants

May 13, 2024

Ilmatar organizes an official opening ceremony for the Alajärvi wind farm on Thursday 16 May together with partners, landowners, and other stakeholders at the wind farm’s visitor center. A successful project is a proof of both local and international cooperation. The wind farm, completed on schedule, will bring a significant boost to Finland’s renewable energy production on the way to a more sustainable future.

Landowners are one of the most important stakeholders for the renewable energy project, and at the local level they play an important role as both landlords and ambassadors for a wide range of potential partners. We asked landowner Matti Pesonen how he feels about arriving at the opening ceremony of the Alajärvi wind farm.

– Work on the park was carried out for more than ten years even before construction began. It’s good to stop for a cup of coffee, he starts with a smile.

– Among other things, we have developed former peat production areas on a long-term basis. Properties where energy peat was previously extracted are now used for organic farming, forestry – and renewable electricity is produced with wind turbines and soon also solar power plants.

Landowner Matti Pesonen in the Alajärvi hybrid park. Kuva: Anzeelika Aasmäe

Pesonen sees the value of renewable energy as a significant factor in the modernisation of land use on a broad scale.

– A wind turbine and its construction area take up half a hectare of land, and a wind turbine built on fields or production forest land has little effect on other land use. In other words, the former emission sources have been turned to sequester carbon and, in addition, they are now used to produce renewable energy. I believe that the impact on the value of land and properties will also be positive, one additional reason being the maintenance of the road network in the hybrid park area.

And what is the mood of the locals now that Alajärvi’s, located in the western part of Finland, and Ilmatar’s own wind turbines have already had an impact on the local landscape – and on the municipal economy?

– Ilmatar’s wind turbines are firmly established in the landscape and Alajärvi cityscape. The benefits brought about by the wind farm have become concrete, for example, in terms of land use, and the road network has been renewed and completely rebuilt. Such things serve agriculture and forestry excellently as well as hunting, for example, bearing in mind that Ilmatar also offers road maintenance in winter, Pesonen says.

He also raises the issue of the regional economic impact.

– Jobs have been created here in my home region, for example, we have wind turbine technicians, road maintenance and indirect impact, such as demand for basic services, accommodation services, food supply, and maintenance of cars and other equipment. I wonder if the municipality has already accumulated tax dollars.

A study commissioned by Ilmatar on the regional economic impacts of a wind farm shows that the wind power project will have very significant positive effects on the locality and region. You can read it here.

Matti Pesonen arrives at the opening ceremony with his offspring. He has three children, and for Pesonen, investing in renewable energy is also an act for the benefit of his children and grandchildren.

– They represent Z (1997-2012) and Alpha (2010-) generations, so they, like young people in general, have a positive and open attitude towards the fact that the world is changing. Their age group may not so much see change, they see development.

– Against this background, it has been rewarding for me to be involved in building something new and on a large scale. By this I mean climate actions that are concrete – and not just calculated. More of these actions are needed and at a faster pace.

Originally published on 13 May by Ilmatar.

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