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Denmark: Dronninglund Inaugurates 26 MWth Solar District Heating Plant

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on June 1, 2014
Dronninglund1The world’s currently largest solar district heating plant was inaugurated in Dronninglund, Denmark, on 2 May this year. The photo shows Carsten Møller Nielsen, Board Chairman at Dronninglund Fjernvarme, welcoming Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building (to the left of the speaker). The system consists of 2,982 collectors with a total solar thermal capacity of 26 MWth (37,573 m²) and a 61,700 m³ seasonal pit heat storage and is planned to provide about 15,000 MWh per year. Its output will meet half of the annual heat demand of the plant’s 1,350 customers. According to the local district heating supplier Dronninglund Fjernvarme, the total investment costs for the plant amounted to DKK 106 million (EUR 14.6 million), of which EUR 6.1 million were invested in the solar installation (see the chart below). The plant was subsidised by the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program, EUDP, which supported the project with Danish Krone (DKK) 21 million (EUR 2.953 Mio). The payback period is said to be 25 years. spoke with Søren Elisiussen, CEO at Arcon Solar, which delivered the collectors and the support structure for the solar field, about the plant’s technical specifications.
Photo: Arcon Solar

Germany/Denmark: Solar District Heating Prices between 37 and 88 EUR/MWh

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 24, 2014
Solites CalculationThe calculation of solar heat prices very much depends on the frame conditions. The chart on the left shows heat prices for a solar district heating system, with costs differing between 37 and 88 EUR/MWh. The best-case scenario - with a 3 % low-interest loan and a 40 % investment subsidy – allows a heat price of 37 EUR/MWh, whereas the worst case without a subsidy and with an 8 % interest rate forces the heat price to levels as high as 88 EUR/MWh. The calculation, which uses the newly developed online tool by German research institute Solites, is based on a 3,000 m² collector field and a 600 m³ storage tank. The tank feeds directly into a district heating network, which covers 9 % of the annual heat demand.
Source: Solites

SMEThermal 2014: “Take the risk away from the customer and the financier”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 4, 2014
SMEThermal 2014Solar thermal is not just about technology, it´s also about financing. It takes much more than just an improved, mature technology to have a successful industry. It needs new business models which attract the financial sector and it requires transparency in terms of performance and costs when dealing with commercial clients. These were the major topics of a roundtable discussion at SMEThermal 2014 in Berlin, Germany, on 18 February 2014. Solar thermal specialists from three different continents – Europe, Asia and North America – presented their case studies at the conference (from left): Søren Elisiussen, CEO of Arcon Solar (Denmark), Nicholas Atkins, Managing Partner of Georgieff Capital Advisors (United Kingdom), Thippegowda Srinath, Technical Director at Emmvee Solar Systems (India), Justin Schafer, Product Manager at Skyline Innovations (USA) and Robin Welling, Managing Director of Tisun (Austria). The roundtable discussion was chaired by Bärbel Epp, Managing Director of solrico (Germany).
Photos: Stephanie Banse

Denmark: “We have improved the cost/performance ratio by around 50 % over the last 5 years”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on March 4, 2014
ElisiussenStrong competition and best cost/performance ratios have made the Danish district heating market one of the most successful case studies within the European solar thermal market. The two key features of the Danish model are the cost-optimised large solar fields above 10,000 m² with prices as low as 200 EUR/m², including installation, and the low interest rates for the investment with only 3 % over the expected lifetime of the system of at least 20 years. The resulting heat price is as low as 31 EUR/MWh, beating by far the heat price of a gas-fired district heating plant. Søren Elisiussen, CEO of Arcon, a Danish collector manufacturer and large-scale turnkey solar systems provider, explained his business case during the panel discussion New Business Models for the Solar Thermal Industry at the international conference SMEThermal 2014 in Berlin, Germany, on 18 February 2014.
Photo: Stephanie Banse

Denmark: Construction Start on Dronninglund’s Solar District Heating Plant

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 10, 2013

On 15 March, the excavators began their work for Denmark’s largest solar district heating project so far. The collector field in the town of Dronninglund, about 30 km northeast of Aalborg, will have an area of 35,000 m², but installing the collectors will only be the last step. First, there is the seasonal pit heat storage - a hole in the ground filled with 60,000 m³ of water. In combination with the seasonal heat storage, the solar plant is said to achieve a yield of 15,000 MWh per year and to provide 40 % of the heat for the local district heating network with its 1,350 customers. In the long run, the collectively owned district heating company Dronninglund Fjernvarme plans to provide all of its heat through renewable energies to keep heat prices stable, albeit there have not yet been any details on how to accomplish this task. Currently, the heating network’s supply is based on four combined gas-based heating plants (7 MWel and 12 MWth total) and two biofuel boilers (15.1 MW total).
Photo: ARCON Solar

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