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Continuous work to improve energy efficiency

 
 

Energy efficiency is a basic building block of energy production operations. It is important for both the environment and the economy. Pohjolan Voima has engaged in long-term efforts to improve energy efficiency within the framework allowed by technological and financial considerations.

Extensive work to improve energy efficiency in various industries, based on voluntary agreements, began in Finland in 1997. Voluntary energy efficiency agreements were first signed between the government and energy-intensive industries as well as operators in the energy industry. Later, the system was expanded to other fields.

Pohjolan Voima's thermal power production operations were among the first to join the energy efficiency agreement of the energy industry in 1998.

In 2017, energy efficiency agreements entered their third period of validity, which extends to 2025. The first energy industry operator to sign the new agreement was Porin Prosessivoima Oy , which is part of the Pohjolan Voima Group. All Pohjolan Voima's production companies have joined the agreement for the current period.

Energy efficiency agreements: a tool for energy and climate policy

Energy efficiency agreements are a central part of Finnish energy and climate policy. Pohjolan Voima supports the implementation of the policy.

Energy efficiency agreements fulfil the energy efficiency obligation defined for Finland in international treaties and in the EU energy efficiency directive, making new legislation unnecessary.

Targets recorded, measures reported

The energy efficiency agreement includes the obligation of reporting completed measures and the achieved energy savings. When joining the agreement, companies determine how much energy (MWh) they intend to save until 2025. They also set an intermediate target for 2020. The companies commit to the continuous improvement of their energy efficiency as part of the planning and management of their operations.

Each year, the companies report the following:

  • measures completed to save energy or improve the efficiency of energy use
  • the quantity of energy saved as a result of these measures
  • the total quantity of energy used in the previous year.

Pohjolan Voima companies  have joined the energy efficiency agreement

The following Pohjolan Voima companies have joined the Action Plan for Energy Production:

  • PVO-Vesivoima Oy
  • Porin Prosessivoima Oy
  • Vaskiluodon Voima Oy
  • Kymin Voima Oy
  • Laanilan Voima Oy

The following Pohjolan Voima companies have joined the Action Plan for Energy-intensive Industry:

  • Hämeenkyrön Voima Oy
  • Kaukaan Voima Oy
  • Rauman Biovoima Oy

Other companies that have joined energy efficiency agreements include Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, partially owned by Pohjolan Voima, and Alholmens Kraft Oy Ab, of which Pohjolan Voima owns a major share.

Energy-efficient combined heat and power production

Pohjolan Voima produces heat and power in combined plants (CHP) which are efficient from both the environmental and the financial perspective. Most of the Group's power plants produce heat, steam and district heating as well as electricity for local industries and homes.

The combined heat and power production process requires much less fuel than separate production processes do.

Energy efficiency at Pohjolan Voima

Each production company of Pohjolan Voima sets its own energy efficiency objectives. For 2017, each plant had set a target: either saving a certain number of megawatt-hours of energy or completing a significant energy efficiency measure.

Examples of energy efficiency measures at Pohjolan Voima’s power plants in 2017

Laanilan Voima, Oulu:

  • Replacing the motor of a flue gas blower in the biopower plant’s Pyroflow boiler and the frequency converter controlling the blower to comply with the IE3 energy efficiency requirements.

PVO-Vesivoima, several plants along the Iijoki river:

  • Modernising ventilation heat recovery system at a fish farm and replacing the thermal insulation of a skylight.
  • Using cooling water from generators to defrost screens at the fish farm.
  • Demolishing disused temporary accommodation buildings at Raasakka.
  • Renovating the lighting system of maintenance buildings at Raasakka and the outdoor lighting system at Jumisko.

Kymin Voima, Kouvola:

  • Taking action to minimise the volume of gas required to start up a boiler.
  • Minimising the use of an auxiliary cooler and condenser by developing the control and monitoring of the entire plant’s steam network.

Vaskiluodon Voima, Seinäjoki and Vaasa:

  • Modifying an incoming raw water pump at the Seinäjoki power plant to start only when the trunk line pressure has reduced to below the pressure required by the power plant. Before the modification the pump was on at all times. The modification decreased the pump’s running time to close to zero.
  • Introducing a new low-pressure turbine in Seinäjoki which produces more electricity.
  • Decommissioning and demolishing old heavy oil tanks in Vaasa, clearly reducing the heavy oil heating needs to save energy.Vaskiluodon Voima’s permanent goal is to reduce the plants’ house load volume by 0.5% per year. This goal was clearly exceeded in 2017.

Improvement of energy efficiency between 2008 and 2016

In the previous energy efficiency agreement period from 2008 to 2016, Pohjolan Voima carried out the following energy efficiency measures, among others:

Hydropower plants

Pohjolan Voima's most significant energy efficiency effort took place in hydropower operations. Over the past few years, the company has invested approximately EUR 60 million in the restoration of hydropower plants and hydropower capacity increases. A renovation programme was completed on the Iijoki river, with a total of eight generators of four power plants undergoing work. This increased the Iijoki power plants’ load-following capacity by 20 MW. The power plants are now able to produce an additional 20 GWh of electricity per year.

Renovation of the Melo power plant on the Kokemäenjoki river continued. The new generators and stators will improve the power plant’s energy efficiency. They will reduce losses and increase the electricity production volume.

Thermal power plants

The most important energy efficiency measure carried out in thermal power plants was the lowering of their minimum power level, which will reduce losses and save fuel. This was done at several power plants, including Kaukaan Voima, Kymin Voima, Hämeenkyrön Voima and Vaskiluodon Voima.

Other success stories include

  • reduced house load volumes
  • new usage methods
  • improvement of production efficiency through the development of maintenance, measurement and analysis operations
  • developing a more accurate operating schedule to follow the electricity market.

Office facilities

Energy efficiency of office facilities was improved particularly at the Pohjolan Voima headquarters in Helsinki. Use of space was rationalised by converting traditional office facilities into multifunctional office space. Led lighting was installed. The consumption of electricity was reduced to half. With increased emphasis on remote work and the practice of holding meetings over the Internet, less energy is used for travel.

Renovation of air conditioning systems was carried out at the Harjavalta operating centre and the Porvoo facilities. Consumption of electricity at the Porvoo facilities has reduced by about one quarter. Significant savings were reached in Harjavalta.

Certification of plants

Pohjolan Voima built an ETJ+ energy efficiency system in 2015. Eight power plants received an ETJ+ certificate and two an ISO 50001 certificate.

The following Pohjolan Voima power plants were certified:

  • PVO-Vesivoima
  • Laanilan Voima
  • Vaskiluodon Voima, Vaasa
  • Tahkoluoto
  • Kristiinankaupunki
  • Rauman Biovoima
  • Kymin Voima.

These power plants received the ETJ+ certificate. Hämeenkyrön Voima and Porin Prosessivoima were certified according to the ISO 50001 energy efficiency system.

Systematic work continues

Pohjolan Voima cooperates with research institutions, engineering offices and device suppliers. Together, we investigate opportunities to further improve the efficiency of our operations. Improvement of the energy efficiency is one of our targets.