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Revamped Herning Power Station ready to supply heat and power

After eighteen months of upgrading work including a new flue gas condensation unit, Ørsted's Herning Power Station in Herning, Denmark will now be able to reduce its fuel consumption by 20 percent.

Aerial view of Ørsted's Herning Power Station (photo courtesy Ørsted).
The new flue gas condensation plant ay Ørsted’s biomass-fired Herning Power Station in Herning, Denmark will enable fuel savings of up to 20 percent for the combined heat and power (CHP) plant (photo courtesy Ørsted).

In early March 2018, Kristian Jensen, the then Danish Minister of Finance, turned the first sod for the conversion of Herning Power Station. The combined heat and power (CHP) plant was to be upgraded with a flue gas condensation plant, utilising the residual heat in the flue and making the plant more efficient.

According to Ørsted, the conversion project has now been completed.

Significant fuel reduction

Herning Power Station dates from 1982 and was originally a coal-fired power plant.It has a capacity of 78 MW of power and 200MJ/s of district heating. The district heating produced by the CHP plant covers the annual heat consumption of approximately 48 000 Danish households.

In 2000, it was converted to using natural gas as fuel, and two years, later it was converted once again to using primarily woodchips as fuel.

With the new plant at Herning Power Station, we’ll be able to reduce our fuel consumption by around 20 percent. That’s very good news for our climate and for our district heating customers, as our woodchip-fired CHP plant will now become even greener, said Ole Thomsen, Head of Production in Ørsted’s bioenergy business.

The conversion project was launched at the same time as Ørsted signed a 15-year agreement with the local Danish energy companies Eniig Varme, Energi Ikast Varme, and Sunds Vand og Varme to continue supplying district heating from Herning Power Station.

The new plant has been a prerequisite for signing the new, long-term heat agreement. Both now and in the future, the objective is to operate an efficient as well as cost-competitive and environmentally sustainable district heating company in Herning where pricing and green heat profile are very important for our customers here and are important incentives for their choice of a future heat source, said Erling V. Klemmensen, Head of the Heat Division at Eniig Varme.

Since 2009, Herning Power Station has been able to run exclusively on biomass – primarily woodchips supplemented with wood pellets. The establishment of the new flue gas condensation plant makes it possible to use the residual heat in the flue, resulting in an even more efficient power station that can lower its fuel consumption significantly.

It’s very satisfactory that we’ve once again succeeded in realising a major conversion of Herning Power Station based on local collaboration between the heat suppliers in Sunds, Herning and Ikast and a rewarding collaboration with Ørsted, said Jørgen Mosegaard, CEO of Energi Ikast.

Furthermore, the power station is able to supply heat without also having to produce power. This may become relevant in cases where solar and wind energy generate enough power to cover consumption.

It’s very satisfactory that the conversion of Herning Power Station generally was carried out within the planned timeframe and within budget. At ‘Sunds’, we’re very pleased that the environmental and financial prerequisites are now in place, enabling us to continue collaborating on local district heating. This means that the inhabitants of Sunds can safely choose district heating as their preferred type of heating and Sunds Forsyning as their local multi-supply utility, said Stig Østergaard Nielsen, Chairman of the Board of Sunds Vand og Varme.

Closer to 100 percent coal phase-out

Ørsted’s seven largest CHP plants, of which Herning Power Station is one, cover about a quarter of Denmark’s district heating consumption. Five of the CHP plants have already replaced coal and gas with wood pellets and woodchips from sustainable production forests, and since 2006, Ørsted has reduced its coal consumption by 82 percent.

By the end of 2022, all of Ørsted’s CHP plants will have phased out coal entirely.

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