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Fortum chose Sweco as implementation designer for Finland’s largest air-to-water heat pump plant

A new industrial-scale air-to-water heat pump plant will rise on the current site of the energy company Fortum’s thermal plant in Vermo, Espoo. When completed in 2023, the plant will provide zero-emission-free district heating to residents of Espoo, Kauniainen and Kirkkonummi, as well as cooling for the nearby area.

The 11-megawatt plant generates heat directly from the outside air and the waste heat of properties. Thermal energy is recovered from the air by means of a medium and transferred to the customers through the water cycle. Vermo’s air-to-water heat pump plant reduces CO2 emissions equivalent to the carbon footprint of thousands of Finns. The electricity used by the plant is CO2 free and origin-certified.

The Vermo air-to-water heat pump plant is an important step in moving from coal and gas to clean and decentralized forms of energy production. The project is part of the Espoo Clean Heat program, which will implement completely carbon-neutral district heating production this decade, and is the largest single climate act taken by the cities in the region.

Fortum has previously successfully piloted air-to-water heat pumps connected to the district heating network on a smaller scale. Based on the results obtained, Fortum intends to build more plants, and if successfull, it is possible to implement even larger heat pump plants as part of the Espoo district heating system. The air-to-water heat pump plant complex connected to Fortum’s district heating network is already the largest in Finland.

Sweco has previously also been responsible for the basic design of the project and consulting the construction permit.

“I am pleased that our good cooperation with Fortum continues and that we will work together to secure the conditions for renewable energy production for future generations. A large part of the climate work is raising awareness in households, and the technology used by the plant is already familiar to Finns and easy to understand”, says Erik Skogström, Division Director, Industry at Sweco Finland.

“The development of new technologies in a demanding operating environment and with an ambitious schedule requires close cooperation with knowledgeable partners. Pioneering development work in Vermo will continue to enable a care-free and competitive supply of heating and cooling to our customers. It is an important part of our constantly updated heating system and permanently clean energy production”, emphasizes Thomas Ekholm, Manager of New Solutions, Heating & Cooling Finland at Fortum.

In 2020, the plant received investment support from the Ministry of Employment and Economy, which aims to accelerate the voluntary abandonment of coal by prioritizing non-combustion-based methods.


More information

Erik Skogström, Division Director, Industry, Sweco Finland, +358 400 828 912, erik.skogstrom@sweco.fi
Tim Karike, Head of Press, Sweco Finland, +358 44 507 5562, tim.karike@sweco.fi

Thomas Ekholm, Manager of New Solutions, Heating & Cooling Finland, Fortum, +358 40 828 0777, thomas.ekholm@fortum.com