05 Jul 2024

Geothermal Wells in Salo, Finland Set to Supply Heat for the Coming Winter

05 Jul 2024  by thinkgeoenergy   

The GM2000 drilling rig in action at the Lounavoima waste incineration plant in Finland (source: Geomachine)
A geothermal heat storage system at the site of the Lounavoima waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in Salo, Finland is set to supply heat to the district heating network for this year’s winter The first phase of the project has been completed with three wells drilled so far.

We had previously reported on the drilling of a 2000-meter geothermal well at the Lounavoima waste incineration plant which is intended to store heat from the plant which can then be used for district heating supply in the winter. This was the second well of the project, as a 1600-meter well had already been drilled and tested prior. Testing of the second well is ongoing. Meanwhile, a third well had been drilled in the winter of 2023 also to a depth of 2000 meters.

A decision was made in June 2024 to invest in a third phase, which involves the construction of three additional wells. Construction work has already begun, and completion of the final heat well is expected by the summer of 2025. The project will then be fully completed.

The primary funder of the project is Salon Kaukolämpö Oy, which will gain a significant boost in environmentally-friendly energy for its own operations. The EUR 3 million in energy support granted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment kickstarted the project.

Upon completion of the project, the WtE plant will have six geothermal heat wells with a combined output of as much as 14 GWh per year, or equivalent to the annual heating need of about 700 single-family homes. The geothermal heat well project has been carried out in cooperation with innovative Finnish companies, including well technology developer Quantitative Heat Oy (QHeat) which has carried out other geothermal heat projects in Finland.

The heat wells were drilled using new drilling equipment developed by Finnish company Geomachine Oy for the project. This equipment made it possible to reach the target depth of 2,000 metres. Finnish company Calefa Oy delivered the heat pump process for the heat wells.

“The heat well production will always be used first if the district heat output of the WtE plant isn’t enough. This allows us to primarily replace the need for starting oil heating plants and, in many cases, we can also avoid the need to start a backup power plant,” explains Lounavoima and Salon Kaukolämpö Managing Director Petri Onikki.

“We have such top expertise here in Finland. Even though the new technology development project has not always gone smoothly, the results have exceeded our expectations. The geothermal heat wells have a multiplying effect on heat production in Salo.”


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