Review of 2018

Heka apartment blocks become an active part of the Helsinki energy system

Helen Ltd and Helsingin kaupungin asunnot Oy (Heka), the housing company of the City of Helsinki, carried out a significant research and development project on heat demand response. Helen provided a new  service for the metering and reporting of indoor temperatures and humidity in Heka homes. The service enables improved energy efficiency in residential apartment blocks in a cost-effective and easy way.

Planning of the world’s first seasonal energy storage facility of its kind was launched

Helen and Skanska presented their plan to implement the world’s first seasonal energy storage facility of its kind in the old oil caverns in the Kruunuvuorenranta district of Helsinki. In the planned project, the caverns are filled with surface water heated by the sun and collected from Kruunuvuorenselkä in the summer, and this water is utilised as the energy source for heat pumps in the winter season. Surplus heat from buildings is also collected for the use of residents in the summer season.

First bioenergy heating plant in Helsinki was inaugurated

The Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori inaugurated Helen's new bioenergy heating plant in Salmisaari. The plant produces renewable district heat in the largest pellet-fired boiler in Finland. The new heating plant represents solid Finnish competence: the degree of domestic origin in the heating plant project is over 80%. The plant can generate renewable district heat for the needs of 25,000 one-bedroom apartments.

Environmental impact assessment of the Tattarisuo bioenergy heating plant was launched

Helen is exploring various options of building new bioenergy heating plants in Helsinki. For example, the suitability of the Tattarisuo area for producing heat with biofuels is investigated. In addition to Tattarisuo, areas in Vuosaari and Patola are also planned.

Decision was made to implement a gigantic cavern heat storage facility in Mustikkamaa in Helsinki

Helen has decided to build Finland's largest heat storage facility in the old oil caverns in Mustikkamaa for the storage of district heat. The heat storage facility will allow reduction in the use of fossil fuels. The investment decision on the Mustikkamaa cavern heat storage facility was approved by Helen’s Board of Directors in March. The procurement process started in the spring and the construction work was launched in early 2019.

Solar panels and electricity storage system for homes for the first time in Finland

Helen is the first company in Finland to offer solar planels and an electricity storage system as a tailored package for domestic customers. Microgenerators will gain greater benefits from their solar panels with the aid of an electricity storage system because it increases the utilisation rate of solar panels by balancing production and consumption.

Helen again the most sustainable brand among energy companies

For the second year running, Helen was ranked first among Finnish energy companies in the largest survey in the Nordic countries concerning citizens’ views on the sustainability of well-known companies. Helen’s sustainability stems from its strategy, which aims for climate-neutral energy production.

New solar wall for Helen’s solar power plant in Suvilahti

A new solar wall consisting of 84 panels was installed at the Suvilahti substation in Helsinki to test the yield of wall panels. The production rate of a traditional roof power plant is at its highest in the summer, whereas spring and autumn are the best times of the year for wall installations to collect solar rays.

First solar panel benches installed in Helsinki

Helen brought five solar panel benches for recharging electric bicycles and mobile devices in Helsinki. The first of their kind in Finland, the benches were installed in Teurastamo, Kalasatama and the Market Square. The bench can be used for charging up a device even when the sun is not shining as the power generated by the solar panel is stored in an in-built accumulator.

New underground heating and cooling plant utilises waste heat

Helen’s new heating and cooling plant was completed and test operations were started. Large heat pumps are used for recovering significant amounts of waste heat from properties. They produce both district heat and district cooling. The heating and cooling plant is located under the Esplanade Park at a depth of some 50 metres. A cooling accumulator of 25 million litres is also located in connection with the plant.

New heat pump for the Katri Vala heating and cooling plant

Helen decided to continue its investments in the recycling of waste heat by building a new heat pump to complement the underground heating and cooling plant located in Sörnäinen. Thanks to the new heat pump, the thermal load of the Baltic Sea will be reduced considerably when the heat of the purified waste water will be recovered even more efficiently than before.

Helen among top five in international brand competition

Helen was selected as one of the world’s best brands in the international CHARGE brand competition for the energy sector, held in Reykjavik in Iceland. Helen was awarded as one of the five best energy brands in the category for established brands.

Free charging station for electric cyclists in Katajanokka

Helen is bringing a free charging station for electric cyclists on the Katajanokka shore in Helsinki. The e-bike charging station is the first of its kind in Finland, and it utilises solar panels and an electricity storage unit as power sources. 

Helen at the head of Finnish security

Helen won the title of Secure Organisation of the Year and Helen’s Mats Fagerström the Security Director of the Year at the Finnish Security Awards 2018 event. The Secure Organisation of the Year prize is awarded to a business or other organisation that has created an exemplary security and safety system and a positive security culture.

New district heating service saves energy

Helen is launching a new district heating service on the market: a smart heat distribution centre saves energy and reduces heating costs for residents. The smart heat distribution centre creates equal indoor conditions for all apartments of a housing company.

Helen wants to buy surplus heat from its customers

Helen reported on its wish to buy surplus heat from companies and properties. Open district heat means a two-way heat market where customers can both buy district heat and sell the heat they have produced to an energy company. Helen wants to make as efficient use of the existing district heating network as possible.

New solar power plant on the roof of the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre

A decision was made to build one of the largest solar power plants in Helsinki on the roof of the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre, with its panels to be harnessed as Helen’s rented designated panels. In summer 2019, the roofs of the Messukeskus properties will be clad by more than 2,000 solar panels producing about 592 MWh of energy per year.

Helen added mobile payment to its billing options as the first company in Finland

Helen and MobilePay agreed to join forces in making mobile payments an option for Helen’s electricity bills in 2019. Helen is the first company in Finland to adopt mobile payment as a billing choice.

Helen and German E.ON become majority owners of Liikennevirta

Helen’s associated company Liikennevirta Oy (Virta) is rapidly expanding its operations also in the overseas market. The ownership base of Virta was developed through directed share issues and share transactions so that Helen and E.ON are now majority shareholders of the company.