Helsingin Energia’s unique district heating and cooling system has won the highly esteemed international environmental prize, the Global District Energy Climate Award in municipal scheme serving more than 10.000 citizens.
The criteria for winning the award included the unique energy system in Helsinki where electricity, district heat and district cooling production has been combined into energy-efficient trigeneration. The energy sources utilised in the system include the coldness of seawater, the heat of waste water, and the thermal energy created in properties and data centres.
Helsingin Energia’s awarded trigeneration is based on combined heat and power generation with an efficiency rate of over 90 per cent at the Vuosaari, Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants. Helsingin Energia is the only company in the world to integrate district cooling in production in a way that enables utilisation of so-called waste energy, which would otherwise be unused, in district heat and district cooling production. This process takes place at a heat pump plant, which is the largest in the world in its category and located under the Katri Vala Park in Helsinki.
Robert Thornthon, Chairman of the Global District Energy Climate Award Ceremony, gave reasons for Helsingin Energia’s success:
- Helsingin Energia’s smart city energy solution, which combines electricity, district heat and district cooling production, can be regarded as the most energy-efficient system in the world. The first system in the world to integrate district heat and district cooling enables utilisation of waste energies in an innovative and effective way, while reducing environmental load.
- It is great to be recognised for solutions whose unique qualities are based on the competence and innovations of our own experts. We will continue to invest in the development of new solutions also in the future, says Marko Riipinen, director of Helsingin Energia’s district heating and cooling business.
- District heat meets over 90 per cent of Helsinki’s heating needs.
- Helsingin Energia’s district heating network is over 1,300 km long and the district cooling network is 50 km long.
- The efficiency rate of CHP plants located in Helsinki is among the best in the world, over 90 per cent.
- In combined electricity and district heat production, the heat produced in electricity generation is utilised into district heat.
- In condensing power plants, which are common throughout the world, the heat produced in electricity generation is released into the sea or air and the efficiency rate remains below 40 per cent.
- The integrated production of electricity, heat and cooling utilises as energy sources, e.g. the coldness of sea water, the heat of waste water and the surplus heat of the sun, people and machines created in properties.
- Located under the Katri Vala Park in Helsinki, the world’s largest heat pump plant produces heat and cooling in a single process, utilising waste and sea water.
- 80 per cent of Helsingin Energia’s district cooling is produced with energy sources that would otherwise be unutilised.
- Energy storage is an essential part of the system. To balance consumption peaks and to maximise energy efficiency, we have installed large heat accumulators in connection with the power plants.
- Finland’s largest district cooling accumulator is being built under the Esplanade Park. The amount of water in the cooling storage facility, 25,000 m3, corresponds to the amount of water in an average-sized lake.
- In 2011, we commissioned the Pasila cold accumulator with a capacity of 11,500 m3.
The Global District Energy Climate Award entries included district heating and district cooling systems throughout the world. The competition was organised by the independent expert organisation IEA (International Energy Agency) together with Euroheat & Power and IDEA (the International District Energy Association) representing the industry.