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Surplus heat from carbon capture to be used for Danish district heating

Surplus heat from carbon capture to be used for Danish district heating
Ørsted owns and operates Avedøre Power Station located in the Greater Copenhagen Area. The combined heat and power (CHP) plant consists of two wood pellet-fired units and a straw-fired unit that supplies power to the Danish power grid and district heating to the Greater Copenhagen area (photo courtesy Ørsted).

In Denmark, renewable energy utility major Ørsted A/S has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Danish district heating companies VEKS and CTR to utilize surplus heat from carbon capture at its Avedøre Power Station. The surplus heat will provide district heating to up to 16,000 Danish households in the Greater Copenhagen area.

Located on the outskirts of the Danish Capital, Ørsted’s Avedøre Power Station is establishing a carbon capture plant to capture 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually from its straw-fired unit.

The combined heat and power (CHP) plant uses straw from the local fields on Zealand to produce heat and power for the Greater Copenhagen area, and starting in 2026, the biogenic carbon from the stack will be captured and stored.

Following the commissioning of the carbon capture plant, large volumes of surplus heat will be generated, which can be used to provide affordable, green district heating to the Greater Copenhagen area.

We’re constantly looking into opportunities for providing green and competitive district heating, and I’m pleased that we’ve agreed with our heat customers to utilize the surplus heat from our future carbon capture plant. By integrating carbon capture with heat generation at the power station, we can make the most of the energy in the fuel and supply cheap, green district heating to the Greater Copenhagen area, while minimizing our energy consumption for carbon capture, said Ole Thomsen, SVP and Head of Bioenergy at Ørsted.

Efficient energy utilization

The energy needed to capture carbon comes from the power station’s straw-fired unit and is therefore renewable energy.

Via a heat pump, the surplus heat from the carbon capture process and flue gas condensation can be upgraded to district heating, thereby utilizing the same energy twice.

This will result in greener district heating for the Greater Copenhagen area and significantly lower energy consumption for the carbon capture process.

This agreement is a very important and tangible step in VEKS’s transformation to the green technologies of the future. It’s a good example of why district heating is an important part of sector coupling while also being green, reliable, and sensibly priced. We look forward to the negotiations for a long-term agreement on the surplus heat from the plant, emphasized Steen Christiansen, Chairman of VEKS.

The carbon capture plant at the straw-fired unit at Avedøre Power Station will generate approximately 34 MW of surplus heat from the carbon capture process and approximately 19 MW from the flue gas condensation process.

The total surplus heat of 53 MW corresponds to the annual district heating consumption of around 16,000 average Danish households.

The agreement between VEKS, CTR, and Ørsted covers the period 2024-2027 when it will be renegotiated to reach a long-term agreement for the surplus heat from the carbon capture plant.

It’s positive that surplus heat from carbon capture is now part of the total heat supply to district heating customers in the Greater Copenhagen area. The district heating supply of the future will consist of many different heat sources, which collectively can help us continue to provide district heating at an attractive price, said Line Barfod, Chair of CTR.

Ørsted is in the process of establishing another carbon capture plant in Denmark at Asnæs Power Station in Kalundborg and is working with the local heat and steam customers to devise a similar solution based on utilizing the surplus heat in Kalundborg.

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