Utilitas expanded Väo energy complex

Utilitas, Estonia’s largest district heating company and leading producer of renewable energy, expanded the Väo renewable energy complex with new energy production equipment, thanks to which 30,000 t of CO2 per year will not be emitted.

In the Väo energy complex in Tallinn, green energy is produced by two high-efficiency combined heat and power plants and a solar park. This year, second-level flue gas condensors, heat pumps, an electric boiler were added to the stations, and the largest solar park in the city of Tallinn was completed. These new energy production equipment make it possible to significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels.

According to Priit Koit, CEO of the Utilitas Group, only by investing consistently is it possible to make the energy used in cities even more environmentally friendly and reduce dependence on imported fuels.

“It is most efficient to decarbonize energy sectors at once, and the Väo energy complex is a good example of this. The condensors and heat pumps added to cogeneration plants this spring will help to extract even more green energy from biomass. We are also already building a green hydrogen production facility that will provide green fuel to vehicles and industries and residual heat to the district heating network. In addition, the input of these new technologies is green electricity, which we produce in our cogeneration plants as well as in wind and solar parks,” Koit described.

Tallinn has set a clear goal of becoming a climate-neutral city by 2050, and according to the Mayor of Tallinn, Jevgeni Ossinovski, the fastest effect will be achieved by completely transferring the district heating system to renewable fuels.

“Man-made climate change is the biggest long-term threat to the Estonian state and people, which is why the transition to a sustainable energy system is not an option among others, but an inescapable need. Most of the greenhouse gases is emitted in cities, mainly from the energy consumption of buildings and by private cars. Tallinn is pleased that our district heating partner Utilitas shares our goal of climate neutrality and is investing in new climate-friendly technologies to achieve this goal,” said Ossinovski.

With the help of flue gas condensors and heat pumps added to Väo CHP plants, the flue gas temperature leaving the cogeneration plant is lowered from 50 to 20 degrees in order to use up all of the energy contained in the fuel. The introduction of new equipment makes it possible to significantly reduce the use of natural gas in the Tallinn district heating network, as more green energy can be obtained from Väo stations.

The new solar park, named after the European Green Capital, covers a total of 11 hectares in the area of the former Väo limestone quarry and consists of 15,600 bifacial solar panels with a production capacity of 9.3 MW. To extend the production period of solar energy, the panels are placed on a special frame, which allows them to follow the movement of the sun. In addition, the natural environment of the former mine will also be restored around the solar park, and nearly 5000 new trees were planted on the site.

In total, Utilitas invested more than 30 million euros in these production capacities.

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