Thermal energy from a school turned into district heating

Härnösand’s folk high school is strengthening its environmental profile and investing in a solar energy system by entering a unique agreement with the municipal energy company, Hemab, to feed excess heat to the district heating network.

“The agreement with Härnösand folk high school is a significant milestone in the development of district heating in Sweden,” says Marcus Tärnvik, business area manager at the district energy company Hemab.

The energy company has decided to call the business deal the “Härnösand model”, which means that customers can sell solar energy during the summer at a good price. Hemab wants to promote the development of small-scale energy production. Almost one year ago, the Härnösand Energipark was created, where plants for electricity and heat production can be built, tested and find a market for their energy.

“But with this type of deal it was more interesting for us to invest in a separate plant,” says Eduardo Gran Villanueva-Contreras, Director of Härnösand Folk High School. Now we will be self-sufficient in terms of heat during the summer months, in addition to being paid for the surplus heating.

The folk high school estimates that the investment will be paid off within 12 years.

“In addition to being a good investment, it also clearly helps our environmental profile,” says the director the school. “For us as educators, it is important to be on the cutting edge. We want to support the global efforts to address the environmental and climate issues that were raised during the UN’s environmental summit, Rio+20, in June.

The supplier of the solar energy system is Absolicon Solar Concentrator, who developed a solar collector technology that produces both heat and electricity.

–The folk high school and Hemab are now models for what environmentally-friendly energy development in densely populated areas should look like,” says Joakim Byström, Absolicon..