The Challenge

As one of the most sustainable energy companies in Europe, Fortum looks to reduce its environmental impact wherever it can. Hydropower is one of the key renewable energy sources in the Nordics, and Fortum operates around 150 hydropower plants in Finland and Sweden altogether. Since its creation in 1878, hydroenergy has been by far the largest renewable energy source worldwide.

However, hydropower dams prevent thousands of fish from returning home every year, a problem which has been unsolved for almost two centuries. This creates a conflict for Fortum, which the public and the media recognize. Fortum wanted the public to recognize hydropower as an eco-friendly way to produce energy, but first it needed to provide migratory fish safe access to their natural spawning grounds.

The Solution

A floating hydraulic fishway that enables fish to migrate to spawn past dams. TBWA\Helsinki and Fortum developed an innovation that not only protects these fish, the project restores biodiversity and helps support local fishing communities.

The device produces an additional attraction flow that helps fish find their way up the river. AI detects fish and collects real-time data and photos of the migration. Then, the fish are propelled upstream over the hydropower plant unharmed.

This smart detection process collects the migration data in real-time. If the specimen does not belong to migratory species, the tunnel sends the fish safely back.

The Results

Fish transferred each year
Species preserved in Finland
Adopting the tech in 2024

The FishHeart gave a second chance for Ouluj√§rvi lake trout, an endangered species. The patent is now active in 16 countries, and in process in 38 more countries, showing promise for more species around the globe.