Ambitious geothermal district heating project launched in Finland

Ambitious geothermal district heating project launched in Finland Espoo - Finland (Soruce: Flickr CC - By: Alexander Savin)
Francisco Rojas 28 Nov 2014

Fortum and St1 in Finland will collaborate to build a pilot geothermal heating plant in Espoo of up to 40 MW.

In a recent press release, Fortum and St1 in Finland will start to work on an ambitious geothermal heating district project. The press release is as follows:

Energy companies Fortum and St1 will start collaboration with the goal to build Finland’s first industrial-scale geothermal pilot heat plant. St1 will begin planning the pilot production plant, which is estimated to be completed in 2016. A construction site for St1’s geothermal production plant is being sought out in the area where Fortum’s Otaniemi or Kivenlahti heat plants are located, and Fortum will buy the heat energy produced by the plant for Espoo’s district heating network.

The geothermal heat plant is estimated to have a production capacity of up to 40 megawatts of geothermal heat energy. With that output, Fortum can cover as much as 10% of the district heat needs in the Espoo region. Because no fuels are used in geothermal heat production, the plant will not generate any emissions into the atmosphere.

Geothermal energy is produced by drilling two holes several kilometres deep into the ground. Water is fed into one of the holes. As the water heats up in the ground, it rises through the other hole. At the heat plant, the heated
water goes through a heat exchanger and then into the district heating network. The water becomes so warm in the process that it can be used directly in district heat production without any heat pumps.

“Our goal is to reduce emissions caused by district heating. Geothermal heat is emissions-free energy that hasn’t yet been utilised in Finland on this scale. It increases heat production flexibility and reduces emissions in the Espoo
region. This is also a new field for us, and we are anxiously waiting to start the drilling,” says Fortum’s Jouni Haikarainen, Vice President, Heat Finland and Baltics.

“Geothermal heat is a very interesting alternative for emissions-free heat production. In line with our strategy, we are investing in this pilot project because we believe that this method makes it possible to produce significant
amounts of energy on an industrial scale also internationally. Our company’s broad, top expertise in the energy sector provides a solid platform for business expansion into new areas of energy production,” says Mika Anttonen, Chairman of St1’s Board of Directors.

Source: Fortum