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Oulun Energia is participating in the development of the Merikoski area

01.03.2024 / Last updated 00:00

The City of Oulu, in cooperation with Oulun Energia, Fortum, and the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Northern Ostrobothnia, has launched a survey to be carried out in 2024 with the aim to assess the feasibility of implementing different objectives for the Merikoski area.

The development is based on the waterway vision for the Oulujoki river water system that was completed in the spring of 2023, which prioritised various development measures for the Merikoski–Hupisaaret Islands city park–Kaupunginoja area. The measures identified in the design phase included the development of the fish pass and the Hupisaari streams bypassing the current Merikoski power plant, examining the natural fish pass, examining the environmental flow of the old Merikoski channel, examining the migration barriers in the submerged weirs, examining the possibilities of building a small-scale power plant, and the possibilities of restoring the breeding areas of powan.

“Oulun Energia has been doing voluntary environmental work to develop the area for a long time. The Merikoski fish pass turned 20 last year and the re-introduction of running water into the Hupisaaret streams is progressing rapidly, as seen even in the form of community recognition. The waterway vision of the Oulujoki river water system now provides a good basis for new Merikoski development measures, the planning of which Oulun Energia has committed to together with other entities in the area,” says Tarja Väyrynen, quality and environment director at Oulun Energia.

The aim of this work is to find out the framework conditions within which development in the Merikoski-Hupisaaret Islands city park-Kaupunginoja area can be advanced. The survey examines, among other things, existing structures in the area, land use planning, risks and opportunities related to the implementation of the objectives, and the permit matters required for the projects.

In the spring, we will conduct a flow test in the Merikoski channel, in which we will examine the movement of water in the area at different volumes of flow. During the spring floods, the intention is to temporarily divert more water into the Hupisaari streams than is normal during the summer flow. The aim is to remove sludge at the bottom of the streams that is harmful to aquatic organisms and fish.