<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=266259327823226&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Skip to content

Case Helen: Becoming a Winner in the Energy Transition with the Help of Data

Sustainable energy production and modern business are closely linked to digitalization. Helen, one of Finland's largest energy companies, has taken up this challenge and has adopted the use of data as a strategic focus. Helen's goal is to build a sustainable energy system with the help of digitalization: the company uses data to renew its energy production and achieve significant growth and strong business benefits.

Like the rest of society, energy production is moving towards a green transition, and the energy revolution is shaking up all energy sector players. Helen is in the midst of a change towards a sustainable energy system, where energy is produced through decentralized various sources, such as wind, sun, and water. Investments in regional renewable energy, smart building solutions, and electric transportation additionally serve the company's business objectives.

Turning the energy transition into a victory requires a specific understanding and utilization of data, says Mikko Muurinen, Helen's Head of Data and AI. That's why data plays a key role in Helen's new strategy, which focuses on the green transition.

”Data is at the heart of creating a more energy-efficient tomorrow. The green transition in the energy sector and the services of the future can only be achieved by utilizing data, artificial intelligence, and automation,” defines Muurinen.

From Fossil Fuels to Green and Data-Driven Production

Previously, energy production was based on the concept that electricity is produced as a by-product of heat production. Helen has primarily produced energy in the Helsinki-based coal-fired power plants of Hanasaari and Salmisaari. The former was shut down at the beginning of 2023, and coal burning in the latter will cease in the spring of 2025 to achieve carbon neutrality goals.

In the future, Helen's energy production will be decentralized into dozens or hundreds of units. Heat and electricity will be obtained, for example, from heat pumps, electric boilers, and waste heat from industry and wastewater. Electricity will take the throne in production as heat will be produced using electricity, and electricity production will be distributed throughout Finland.

"We are investing in wind power, solar power, and hydrogen, and we also have shares in hydropower and a stake in Olkiluoto 3. The diversified production will be more dependent on the weather. while coal could be burned anytime, in the sustainable energy production model, we need to be aware of the movements of the sun and wind," Mikko describes the transition.

To prepare for weather dependency, Helen is storing energy and flexibly matching consumption and production. People are using electricity and heat more precisely and consider energy price fluctuations in their consumption. According to Mikko, the energy price will probably vary more in the future than in previous decades.

Whereas in the large power plants of past years, people have directed production and measured consumption, decentralized production relying on green energy sources is based on data, artificial intelligence, and automation. Against this backdrop, Helen began to develop and expand its data expertise.

Making a Sustainable Energy System and Business Objectives a Reality

To implement a sustainable energy system, Helen's data and AI unit were complemented with new players. As the understanding of Azure technology grew and the goals for data utilization increased, the company began to seek more external partners as well as deep expertise in the energy markets and data stakeholders.

Mikko had heard good things about working with Cloud1 and their expertise in Azure. Eventually, recommendations, data and analytics expertise, and industry understanding led Helen to choose Cloud1 to accelerate its data development. The collaboration began in the spring of 2022, and within a year, the partnership between Helen and Cloud1 had found its groove.

"The goal of the collaboration has been to accelerate not only the cloud transition but also the construction of a modern and scalable data platform. Instead of individual projects, Cloud1 has been involved in Helen's continuous development and complemented teams with specialized data and analytics knowledge," Mikko explains.

Cloud1 has helped make the sustainable energy system a reality and create an energy-efficient tomorrow on a future data platform. In addition to the green transition, the focus has also been on promoting business objectives, data from Helen's core business (wind farms, solar systems, and electricity sales systems) has been collected and analyzed to accelerate growth.

In addition, weather and market data reserves have been combined with Helen's data on consumer and network behavior and production. Consumption profiles tailored to customer groups have been created, including consumption forecasts for use in the OmaHelen mobile service. In this way, data work has created the prerequisites for growth and positioning as a winner in the energy transition.

Mastering the Challenges of the Energy Sector with Modern Data

The energy transition deepens, and the collaboration between Helen and Cloud1 continues. At Helen, there is an appreciation for Cloud1's agile digital and data expertise, flexibility, and local perspective. The fundamental pillars of data work have been strengthened, and objectives have been achieved together. Automation and artificial intelligence have been used more efficiently, and data development has been able to respond to the rapidly changing operational environment.

Cloud1's CEO, Tuomo Riihentupa, is pleased with the straightforward collaboration and the shared goal of both companies to develop new data-driven solutions. Data-driven management and guidance are becoming increasingly important in the energy sector, and succeeding in the winds of change requires an understanding of both the challenges of the energy transition and the significance of data in business development.

According to Tuomo, the cloud has brought the energy sector the opportunity to process large data masses and realize visions that were previously only dreamt of. With digitalization, companies can gain more precise information about customer needs and consumption, forecast energy sales and production, and discover new business opportunities. In addition, an energy company's assets can be managed more efficiently, and challenges can be responded to more quickly.

"In the future, the energy sector will increasingly move towards diverse energy management and production. The keys to solutions are found in aligning deep technical expertise with business needs. At Cloud1, we want to be part of making the energy sector's dreams come true and implement a data-driven energy transition," Tuomo summarizes.

Cloud1's Service Offerings

With data, an energy company can experience significant growth, develop its core business, and emerge as a winner in the energy transition. The combination of technical expertise and business understanding ensures the best outcome.

Data Architecture Services

Analytics Services

Improving Data Quality

Enhancing Power BI Reporting


Cloud and Data Governance Models

Cloud and Data Development Models

Concepts utilizing Automation

=Harnessing data, artificial intelligence, and automation to meet strategic and business needs.

Technologies and Methods

Azure data services combined with Cloud1's concepts and development accelerators

Cloud1 Data Hub Concept

  • Cloud1 CI/CD development model for data development and infrastructure
  • Cloud1 AI/ML -platform
  • Cloud1 data quality accelerator
  • Cloud1 Power Bi admin accelerator