Energy self-sufficient Otaniemi 2030
The goal of the Energy Self-Sufficient Otaniemi 2030, or EcoCampus 2030, project is to make the Otaniemi campus energy self-sufficient by 2030. An energy self-sufficient campus requires a comprehensive campus-wide energy system, in which the production, transfer, distribution, storage and consumption of energy support one another smartly. In order to reach this goal, it is essential that consumption can be reduced.
The aim of the EcoCampus 2030 project is to define the technical and financial conditions and guidelines for building a comprehensive campus-wide energy system. Energy self-sufficiency ensures, above all, the cost-efficiency of Aalto CRE's energy procurement in the long term. The project will be carried out in phases.
The starting and reference point for the goal set is the year 2014 when the Energy Self-Sufficient Otaniemi 2030 project was launched. By then, nearly all energy consumed in the buildings located on campus and owned by Aalto was produced outside Otaniemi, with Otaniemi only having small-scale production.
Most of the Aalto CRE buildings have been built in the 1960s and thus are reaching their age of renovation in their lifecycles. During renovations, the energy efficiency of these buildings can be improved and the functionality of their facilities can be enhanced to correspond to current requirements.
The combined power consumption of all Aalto CRE buildings was 33 GWh in 2016. In relation to square metres, their average power consumption was 95 kWh/m2.
This consumption is not divided equally between all buildings, as the six most power-hungry buildings consume approximately 50% of all electricity. Even minor energy efficiency improvements in these six buildings are significant considering the total consumption. Electricity for Aalto CRE is acquired via Nord Pool.
Currently, the output of small-scale electricity production is 310.8 MWh in Otaniemi. Electricity is mainly produced by solar panels on roofs, and this figure accounts for 1% of all electricity.
In 2013, some of the electricity procured was certified as renewable energy. In 2014 and 2015, nearly all electricity consumed was covered by certified bio and wind power, in addition to local production. Starting from 2016, all electricity consumed has been covered using renewable forms of energy. Certified electricity includes a guarantee of origin, i.e. the seller of the electricity must produce at least as much electricity as is indicated in the guarantee using the forms of energy indicated in the guarantee.
Aalto CRE's buildings are connected to Fortum's district heating network. Their combined consumption of district heating was 46 GWh in 2016. In relation to square metres, the average heat consumption was 130 kWh/m2.
In Espoo, district heating is mainly produced at combined heat and power (CHP) plants that use natural gas and coal. To cover peak heat consumption mainly in the winter time, heat is produced in the Otaniemi district heating plant. The plant uses natural gas and heavy fuel oil. Otakaari 1 uses district heat made from renewable sources.
Deep Heat, the geothermal heat plant project of St1, is in progress in Otaniemi. Its aim is to drill deep holes in to the Earths crust for obtaining geothermal heat. It is estimated that the pilot production plant for geothermal heat will be completed in 2019. When completed, the plant is estimated to cover up to 10% of all district heating needed in Espoo.
According to a survey conducted by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), the Otaniemi area has at least good and partly excellent geoenergy potential. As a result of the survey, heat from geoenergy is now used, for example, in Dipoli. Heat from geoenergy is also used in Konemiehentie 1 (Saha), Otaranta 4 (Aalto Inn) and Biologinkuja 2 (Väre), which is still under construction. In addition, a geoenergy heat pump will be installed in Sähkömiehentie 3 (Maarintalo) in the near future. Currently, Aalto CRE buildings produce approximately 856 MWh of geothermal heat per year, covering 2% of total consumption.
In addition to heat from geoenergy, 20–25 MWh of heat is produced per year using solar thermal energy in Aalto Inn and Otakaari 5.
In some of the campus buildings, cooling energy is produced mechanically using a compressor-driven cooling unit. Geoenergy systems are also used for cooling in the summer. In addition, some buildings are equipped with air source heat pumps that act as separate cooling units.
As the power consumption of the cooling units is not measured separately, the need for cooling is estimated on the basis of energy reviews and audits conducted in the buildings. The total cooling energy consumption is approximately 1,000 MWh per year.
Potential to reduce consumption
The current energy consumption of buildings is monitored and reported regularly in accordance with the TETS agreement. In addition to the size of a building, the activities carried out inside a building have a significant impact on the total energy consumption. In particular, the use of buildings, such as operating hours and ways of use, determine the buildings' energy effiency to a great extent.