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Challenge / Goal

Waste heat is abundant in cities but rarely used. For instace, data centres and shopping malls with numerous freezers and coolers generate lots of excess heat, which is often costly to dispose of. Recovery of heat with Open District Heating is an important part of agenda to make district heating in Stockholm 100% fossil-free. This Open District Heating aims to recover waste heat to the existing DH network by developing an innovative business model for plug and play heat pumps and contracts where the DH provider buys waste heat from local sources like data centres and supermarkets.


Fortum Värme has installed the Open District Heating system for two waste heat producers: GleSYS data center in Västberga and a supermarket in Farsta. With open district heating, Fortum Värme buys recovered heat and excess capacity at market price under long-term and transparent contracts.Companies and businesses both big and small can sell their excess heat to Fortum Värme. The waste heat is supplied to the district network. 

This energy will admittedly replace biomass produced heat and also some renewable electricity produced by biomass-CHP, but it still makes sense to utilize this waste heat, as there is a win-win situation where the surplus providers today pay to get rid of the heat. Currently mid-level heat can be fed into outbound water after being further heated by efficient heat pumps, using renewable electricity, or fed inwards at the end of some lines. A plug and play solution providing a standardized heat pump to raise the temperature of the waste heat to the required level for the district heating system together with a new business model where the district heating operator buys excess heat will be developed.


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Time period

Planning time: 6 months to 1 year

Implementation time: 1 to 2 years

    Main benefits

  • Reducing energy bills

  • Reducing use of fossils

  • Improving energy usage efficiency

  • Reducing operation costs

  • Enabling new business opportunities

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