News / 19.6.2024

Helen invests in the carbon neutrality of district heating – a heat pump plant based on new technology and two electric boilers planned for Patola

Helen is building an air-to-water heat pump plant and two electric boilers with combined heat production capacity of 100 MW (à 50 MW) in the company's existing production area in Patola. The air-to-water heat pump plant, based on new technology, is the first of its size in the world. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment granted an energy subsidy for the plant. The heating plant complex, designed to drive Helsinki's heat production towards carbon neutrality, is expected to enter production in the heating season of 2026–2027.

Helen is building a heat production complex in the Patola area in Helsinki, including two 50 MW electric boilers and an industrial-scale air-to-water heat pump.

The full district heating production capacity of the air-to-water heat pump, which uses outdoor air as its heat source, varies between 20 and 33 MW, depending on the air temperature. The refrigerant in the closed loop of the heat pump is carbon dioxide.

"The air-to-water heat pump plant to be built will be the first of its size in the world, and one of its significant advantages is that it can be operated in outdoor temperatures as low as -20°C. When completed, the heating plant complex will significantly reduce the CO2emissions caused by heating in Helsinki and bring us closer to the carbon neutrality goal. In addition, the plant is likely to create price stability for customers, as its production is easily adjustable," says Juhani Aaltonen, VP, Green Investments at Helen.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment granted an energy subsidy to the air-to-water heat pump which utilises new technology and reduces CO2 emissions by 26,000 tons per year. Overall annual reduction of CO2 emissions by the heating plant complex is 56,000 tons. Construction work will begin at the end of 2024 and it is planned that the plant will start production during the heating season of 2026–2027.

The Patola heating plant project in figures:

  • Heat pump plant capacity 20–33 MW, depending on the outdoor temperature
  • Heat production down to -20°C
  • Carbon dioxide is used as the natural refrigerant in the heat pump
  • The heat pump plant will produce more than 200 GWh and reduce 26,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year
  • Total power of electric boilers 100 MW
  • The electric boiler plant will produce about 300 GWh and reduce emissions by 30,000 tonnes of CO2 per year
  • Production will start in the heating season of 2026–2027

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Heating Helen Carbon neutrality