Innovation by Oulun Energia, Caverion and Osuuskauppa Arina will soon produce carbon-neutral district heating in several Arina properties | Oulun Energia

04.05.2022 / Last updated 00:00

Oulun Energia, Caverion and Osuuskauppa Arina have entered into a tripartite agreement to implement an energy production system in around ten Osuuskauppa Arina properties in Oulun Energia’s business area. The ambition is to complete the sites by 2025.

The companies’ joint innovation will increase cost-effective, carbon-neutral district heating production by using waste and condensing heat from commercial properties. In addition, a new way to manage energy flows will provide a concrete and locally feasible means to curb climate change.

The project can be implemented thanks to a two-way district heating system into which energy can be injected from several different sources. The energy production system itself is based on utilising the waste heat from the property’s CO2 refrigeration plant and the energy of the heat pump connected to the plant in the district heating network. The two-way district heating system will be controlled by Caverion’s automation system, which is integrated into the control systems of Oulun Energia and the building.

“This project reinforces our view that, in cooperation with different actors, we will be able to develop solutions that create a sustainable energy system for the future. As a responsible leader, we are committed to doing our share to reach carbon neutrality both locally and nationally,” says Juha Juntunen, CEO, Oulun Energia.

The first site in Ritaharju is producing energy as expected

Osuuskauppa Arina’s new S-Market opened in the Ritaharju district of Oulu in March and is the first property to operate the new energy production system. The waste heat from the property’s refrigeration equipment is recovered for the property’s own needs and some is pumped into Oulun Energia’s district heating network.

Calculations show that the system installed in Ritaharju will enable production of as much as 3 GWh of district heat a year. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by around 500 tonnes, which corresponds to the emissions caused by heating around 170 detached homes. The sites implemented by 2025 will multiply district heat production and emissions reductions.

“As a leader in efficient store energy solutions, we are also setting an example in the climate campaign and the new jointly-developed energy production system will speed up our journey towards reaching carbon neutrality by 2025;” enthuses Reima Loukkola, CEO at Osuuskauppa Arina.

Locally produced clean energy is highly important for security of supply

The innovation has great social significance in reaching carbon neutrality. Made in Finland, the technology can produce emission-free energy for local use and to inject clean energy into the district heating network. Locally-produced clean energy is also highly important for security of supply, since it further reduces purchases of fossil energy from abroad.

Broader use of the innovation calls for a new approach to regional planning and the use of modern M&E solutions so that energy flows can be managed appropriately. The new energy production solution offers planners, investors, developers, energy companies, M&E system experts and property maintenance professionals new insights in the implementation of resource-wise solutions.

VALOR Partners Oy and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland were also involved in verifying the energy production system calculations.