Vaasan Sähkö welcomes datacenters and battery factories
A TEST PLATFORM for new energy technologies – that is how energy utility Vaasan Sähkö wants to brand itself. For quite some time already, the company has worked determinately to reduce its CO2 emissions, and the list of actions is impressive; big investments in wind power, a pioneeringnew energy storage solution, as well as several smaller pilot projects, such as one that aims to even out peak loads in the grid and district heating network.
“Peak load energy is expensive to produce and, moreover, it is often based on CO2 intensive fuels. We have a group of customers who are currently testing different actions to even out their energy consumption. This is a clear win-win, as both emissions and expenses are reduced”, explains CEO Stefan Damlin.
IN 2019, Vaasan Sähkö announced the investment in a new energy storage solution in conjunction with the power plant in Vaskiluoto, Vaasa. The storage takes advantage of two existing caves filled with water, which allow for approximately 8 GWh of heat energy to be stored.
“This solution enables us to reduce the consumption of coal by as much as 30%, when it is taken into use in the summer of 2020. On a windy day, we can store cheap electricity, which is later used for district heating”, explains Damlin. Vaasan Sähkö has also taken many other measures to reduce its dependency on coal. Finland plans to end the use of coal by 2029, however, Vaasan Sähkö prepares for the possibility to do it even faster.
IN THE NORDIC COUNTRIES, electricity generation is based on renewables to a higher extent than perhaps anywhere else in the world. In addition, the cold climate has paved the way for a widespread use of district heating. This means that it is easier to make energy efficient solutions, as waste heat from industrial processes can be reused for warming up buildings.
“Finland, and particularly the Vaasa region, is an ideal place for data centers and battery factories. We have clean electricity, widespread district heating, as well as a deep expertise in energy technology. And what’s more, we are eager to try out new solutions which are both sustainable and energy-saving.”