District Heating Plant Based on Bio Fuel

Stikkord: Stasjonær energi i bygg, energiforsyning, Skien

Skien Municipality will establish a district heating system based on bio fuel in the city centre. When finished, the plant will deliver 60 GWh of energy annually, equivalent of the heating consumption of 4000 detached houses.

Skien Municipality will establish a district heating system based on bio fuel in the city centre. When finished, the plant will deliver 60 GWh of energy annually, equivalent of the heating consumption of 4000 detached houses.

Skien Fjernvarme (Skien District Heating) has already established a mobile pellet plant providing heat to Skagerak Sports Arena, amongst others. Now the company is working on plans for a heating central, as well the application of a building permit in order to start constructing work for the rest of the system by fall 2009.

The goal is for the main plant to start supply by the fall of 2010, with the further intention to expand the pipe system till 2015. When finished, the plant will deliver 60 GWh of energy annually, equivalent to the heating consumption of 4000 detached houses.

Reducing CO2 Emissions

When in operation, the plant could cut CO2 emissions in Skien Municipality by approx. 20 000 tons. This would be equivalent to annual emissions of approx. 9000 cars driving 15 000 km each. In comparison, the Municipality’s Climate and Energy Plan for 2009 aims for greenhouse gas emissions in Skien not to exceed 1990 level by 2010. This corresponds to 10 500 tons of CO2-equivalents.

Considerable bio energy resources

There are considerable bio energy resources in Skien and the surrounding area. This includes bio fuel, in the form of so-called pellets (an industrial product) or sawdust (a residue from mechanical wood industry). However, resources are not utilized to any great extent, as local and regional demand is meagre.

Heating Plan in Skien City Centre

In 2002, Skien Municipality prepared the document «Environmental Report and Local Agenda 21, 2002-2006». In the chapter on energy efficiency, the preparation of a Climate and Energy Plan for the Municipality is proposed. This work commenced in 2003 and the document was passed by the City Council in early 2005. One of the initiatives proposed was the preparation of a heating plan for Skien City Centre.

The purpose of the heating plan was to discuss whether establishing a district heating plant in Skien, using renewable energy sources, would be realistic. The heating plan was prepared and subsequently passed by Skien City Council on the 2nd of November 2006. The plan stated that establishing a district heating plant using bio fuel was technically and economically viable, under certain conditions.

During political negotiations on the plan, a special meeting on bio energy was held in the City Council, where the deputy major in Ringerike Municipality gave an account of experiences with district heating using bio fuel in Hønefoss.

Skien District Heating

After the heating plan was passed in the City Council, Skien Municipality invited parties committed to the further development of district heating to a meeting.  Three parties turned up: 

  • Løvenskiold Fossum
  • Agder Telemark skogeierlag
  • Skagerak varme

Instead of trying to compete for a concession on district heating, the companies chose to collaborate. This resulted in the formation of Skien District Heating AS on the 11th of June 2007.

The company aims to develop, own and run district heating systems and, possibly, other plants with a green profile, using primarily bio fuel. The concession application was sent December 2007 and granted 14 months later.