Alstom is planning to gain a better understanding of how wind turbines are affected by arctic climate conditions through a research and development co-operation agreement with Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT).

The two organisations have signed a letter of agreement for a two-year collaboration aimed at improving the reliability and performance of wind turbines exposed to extreme cold.

The agreement came as Alstom inaugurated its first wind turbine in the Nordic region at the 21 MW Mukko wind farm in Lappeenranta. Equipped with seven of Alstom’s 3 MW ECO 110 wind turbines, the site is one of the largest onshore wind facilities in Finland and will provide LUT and Alstom with data for their research, which will include studying the application of advanced ice sensors.

The Muuko wind farm is owned by TuuliTapiola and TuuliSaimaa Oy and features the ‘cold climate’ version of Alstom’s wind turbine technology.

Petteri Laaksonen, Managing Director for TuuliSaimaa, said: "I believe the research to be conducted in Muukko will help us further to improve the production efficiency of TuuliSaimaa’s wind farms.

"I expect an even better de-icing process, improvements in production automation and turbine controls in order to increase the annual electricity production in the future."