A unique, emissions-free local energy project to start in Otaniemi

Fortum and Aalto University have agreed to modernise the heating and cooling system of a 10-building block to make it emissions-free and virtually self-sufficient. The area’s energy solution, to be renewed in two phases, will be globally unique.

In conjunction with the renovation of the Aalto University-owned building block, located in the Otaniemi campus area, Fortum will build a local-energy-based solution in which the heating and cooling will be produced with industrial-scale centralised air-to-water heat pumps. The heating and cooling will be distributed to the buildings via low-temperature district heating and cooling networks. At the same time, the heat generated during the cooling will be recycled for use in the area, thereby improving its energy efficiency.

The self-sufficiency rate of the solution is 70-90 per cent, and, when needed, renewable district heating will cover consumption peaks. The aim is to deploy the new energy solution at the beginning of 2021 and eventually expand it to other nearby buildings.

“The energy system to serve the building block under development at the Otaniemi campus, known as Aalto Works, and its vicinity is very supportive of Aalto University’s campus development and energy-efficiency goals. The carbon-neutral energy solution utilising waste heat is a natural extension of Aalto University’s approach to pursuing energy solutions that support sustainability targets while taking into account the special needs of each development target,” explains Ville Jokela, Managing Director of Aalto University Campus & Real Estate. “The campus buildings also play a key role in offering the university’s research teams cutting-edge research opportunities, which this new energy system and collaboration with Fortum will support really well.”

“It is great to get the opportunity to create a new kind of energy solution with a frontrunner like Aalto University Campus & Real Estate. With the close collaboration right from the start, we have aimed to ensure that the customer’s needs are correctly understood as the project advances,” says Fortum’s Thomas Ekholm, Manager of New Solutions, Heating & Cooling Finland. “Fortum has made focused investments in innovative energy solutions; this project, for example, combines the best aspects of district energy and local production in a new way. We are intensively developing hybrid solutions that utilise various heat pumps. These solutions are part of the Espoo Clean Heat’s journey of change.”

Fortum is responsible for the project for the full life-cycle of the system – from project development and construction to operation. The goal is to eventually expand the solution to other buildings in the surrounding area. Fortum and Aalto University have also agreed on research collaboration, and the data produced will be jointly applied in, e.g., research and system development. The field of research also includes optimisation of energy production and consumption.

Fortum Corporation
Group Communications

Further information:

Thomas Ekholm, Manager of New Solutions, Heating & Cooling Finland, Fortum, thomas.ekholm@fortum.com, tel. +358 40-828 0777