Biomass and the city
The Swedish capital Stockholm has one of Europe’s largest district heating and cooling systems and Fortum Värme’s Värtaverket combined heat and power (CHP) plant is a familiar skyline feature. Construction of a new biomass CHP unit has been ongoing since January 2013. Now in its final testing phase, the city skyline has a new landmark, one of Europe’s largest biomass plants.
Fortum Värme supplies the city of stockholm with heat and electricity and cooling. Annually the company supplies approximately 8,300 gigawatt-hours (GWh) heat, 400 GWh district cooling and 1 500 GWh electricity from its facilities. The new Värtaverket biomass-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) is connected to Stockholm’s southern-central district heating network. District heating was introduced in Stockholm in the 1950s and today the network covers most of the heating demand in the city.
– District heating has a strong position in Stockholm. With the new investment, we will strenghten the energy production of the area. It is also in line with Fortum’s strategy, where CHP-production plays a central role. CHP technology improves resource efficiency since it enables as much as 90 percent of the energy content of the fuel to be utilised, said Anders Egelrud, Managing Director of Fortum Värme – Fortum’s heat business in Sweden.
Fortum Värme is a Stockholm-based energy utility that provides locally produced heating, cooling and electricity to a large share of city residents. It is jointly owned by Fortum and the City of Stockholm.
– With increasing volumes of intermittent renewable energy, the demand for power will increase during the cold and calm days. As the CHP is flexible, we can adjust the production of both heat and electricity to meet demand; this means that we will also provide a key component in the growing renewable energy system, said Anders Egelrud.
Construction of the new plant started in 2013 as one of the main elements of a strategy to have an energy system in the city solely based on renewable and recovered energy by 2030. The new plant uses forest biomass as fuel, increasing the overall use of biomass at Värtanverket from around 45 percent to as high as 70 percent.
– Not only is this an important step in the development of sustainable energy solutions for Stockholm, but it is also an important showcase: many countries and cities are facing urbanisation-related challenges. Now we can provide sustainable solutions that connect waste management, biogas production, district cooling and other aspects of a circular economy, said Egelrud.