Skarta’s Near Energy project in Utajärvi is progressing – action permit for a solar power plant and Horizon research funding from the EU

September 8, 2022

Press release from Skarta

In August, the Utajärvi solar power plant project received a planning need decision, and now the action permit for the first phase of the project has also been confirmed. The action permit means that the construction work of Finland’s largest solar power plant in Utajärvi can be started if necessary. In August, both Skarta and the municipality of Utajärvi were also granted the European Union’s Horizon funding, which is intended for the transition to clean energy to explore the project’s smart grid solutions for energy distribution as part of the GLocalFlex project coordinated by VTT.

In March 2021, the municipal government of Utajärvi approved a letter of intent for cooperation, which will help develop the self-sufficiency of the Utajärvi industrial area with through solar and wind power and produce a hydrogen refueling station representing the driving force of the future for traffic.  In November 2021, Skarta acquired more than a hundred hectares of disused peat bog as a site for a solar power plant and launched plans to build a solar power park. Now, a permit has also been acquired the first phase of the project. After completion, the entire project will produce approximately 200,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, which corresponds to the consumption needs of an average of 40,000 people. The figure is significant in a municipality of approximately 2,600 inhabitants.

The solar power plant is part of Skarta’s Near Energy project in Utajärvi. The project also includes a wind farm and, in the near future, a hydrogen energy production, storage and distribution station. With the Near Energy complex, renewable energy is produced for the adjacent business and industrial area of more than 300 hectares, which will become self-sufficient – Finland’s first eco-industrial area.

“Utajärvi is being developed into a resource-wise municipality, which means using resources such as natural resources, raw materials and energy in a way that is environmentally sustainable and promotes people’s well-being. Energy is also at the centre of the HINKU network to which Utajärvi belongs. It is specified in the measures of the municipality’s strategy that Utajärvi produces energy from the sun, wind, water and hydrogen, and the Near Energy concept plays an important role in this. Utajärvi is developing purposefully towards carbon neutrality and is doing pioneering work with Skarta to achieve its goals,” says Anne Sormunen, Municipal Director of Utajärvi.

“Skarta’s Near Energy is an important part of the current energy transition for both municipalities and their industry. Through a local smart grid solution, emission-free energy can be distributed to customers with a cheap transmission fee. This significantly improves the competitiveness of the industry and brings cost savings to the public sector,” emphasises Kari Tuominen, Managing Director of Skarta Energy Oy.


For further information, please contact:

Kari Tuominen
Managing Director, Skarta Energy Oy
tel. +358 40 507 1181
[email protected]

Anne Sormunen
Municipal Manager of Utajärvi
tel. +358 40 482 6444
[email protected]

Originally published on 5 September

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