Hybrid pumped hydro-BESS project takes shape in Finland

A ‘new energy cluster in Finland’ plans to co-locate a 75 MW underground pumped storage hydroelectric (UPHS) facility and a 85 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) at a mine near the town of Pyhäjärvi in central Finland. A solar park could be added in the future.
Pyhäsalmi Mine
Image: Pyhäsalmi Mine

Swedish-based renewables company SENS (Sustainable Energy Solutions Sweden Holding) is working with a Finnish mining technology consortium called Callio and Finnish provider of project management services Dovre Group to advance an energy storage project slated to commence operation in 2025.

The project is located at the site of the Pyhäsalmi mine, a couple of kilometers away from the town of Pyhäjärvi, Finland. The mine is owned by Canadian mining group First Quantum Minerals.

The mine was at one point one of the deepest metal ore mines in Europe. In 2022, the underground mine operation and processing of copper and zinc concentrates ended. The closure of the underground mine is currently being carried out.

A step in a more sustainable direction for the mine

The announcement of the planned development by SENS and Callio is another step in a new, more sustainable direction for the Pyhäsalmi mine.

Although the owners continue to produce pyrite concentrate – used in fertilizer manufacturing – from the material stored in the tailings area, the mine is also a key test site for Callio consortium, a group owned by Pyhäjärvi Municipality.

The Callio group comprises various manufacturing and technology companies in the mining and energy storage industries. They are using Pyhäsalmi to carry out digitalization and electrification tests, with the aim of securing interest from manufacturers and end users of the battery-powered technology.

Callio has been awarded NextGenerationEU funding from Finland’s sustainable growth program in conjunction with the European Union.

Most permits already secured

The developers maintain that most of the necessary permits, including agreements on grid connections, have already been secured. The BESS is in a ready-to-build phase, with battery systems expected to be operational within a year. The 85 MW system will be ready to participate in the frequency market or the arbitrage market, enabling immediate revenue generation using existing infrastructure.

The UPHS system has an estimated storage capacity of 530 MWh and a maximum output of 75 MW initially. It will contribute to grid stability and carbon emission reduction using the mine’s existing infrastructure.

“For the town, this project is a direct investment in the municipalities’ carbon neutrality efforts, which the town has been at the forefront of for years,” said Pyhäjärvi town manager Henrik Kiviniemi.

He added that the UPHS and BESS projects are “important cornerstone initiatives for the repurposing of mining infrastructure and the green transition” on both local and national levels.

“It showcases our capacity to repurpose deserted mines into functional energy storage sites, providing a crucial solution for the future energy landscape,” Henrik Boman, CEO of SENS said.

SENS first entered into a principal agreement with Callio on May 22, before Dovre Group announced it was coming on board on June 3.

“The investment of Dovre is sufficient to maintain and further develop the BESS project to a Ready to Build (RTB) phase, as well as the UPHS project until such time that final decision must be made regarding the UPHS construction project later this year,” Dovre Group said in a statement.

“The UPHS provides much higher efficiency rate compared to hydrogen storage systems, and has raised large interest among the investors for the actual construction project,” the group adds.

More about

Written by


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cancel reply
Please enter your comment.
Please enter your name.

This website uses cookies to anonymously count visitor numbers. View our privacy policy.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.