Fortum's Loviisa nuclear power plant's power lines. LEHTIKUVA


In a groundbreaking collaboration, Tulikivi will supply crushed soapstone from its quarries as a byproduct to enhance a new thermal energy storage system developed by Polar Night Energy for the Finnish district heating company, Loviisan Lämpö. This pioneering initiative, set in Pornainen, marks a significant leap towards sustainable energy solutions in district heating.

The project revolves around the construction of an industrial-scale Sand Battery, a novel technology devised by Polar Night Energy,

boasting a heating power of 1 MW and capable of storing up to 100 MWh of thermal energy. This storage potential meets nearly a month's heat demand during summer and a week's demand in winter for Pornainen, showcasing the system's robustness and efficiency.

While sand has traditionally been the material of choice for such thermal energy storages, the collaboration with Tulikivi introduces crushed soapstone as an alternative due to its superior heat conduction properties. This shift not only enhances the efficiency of the Sand Battery but also aligns with Tulikivi's commitment to maximizing the utilization of raw materials, echoing the sentiments of Heikki Vauhkonen, Tulikivi's CEO, about exploring new business avenues that leverage soapstone's unique qualities.

The choice of soapstone, a material intrinsically linked to Finnish heritage, underscores the project's emphasis on utilizing local, high-performance materials that support a circular economy. Liisa Naskali from Polar Night Energy highlights the importance of material selection in achieving cost-effectiveness and environmental sustainability, praising Tulikivi's long-standing reputation and the cultural significance of soapstone in Finland.

This project also aligns with the broader climate goals of Loviisan Lämpö’s parent company, CapMan Infra, which is dedicated to fostering a sustainable future by tackling climate challenges and promoting efficient resource use. Sauli Antila, Investment Director at CapMan Infra, views the investment in the Sand Battery technology as a concrete step towards achieving net-zero emissions and underscores CapMan's commitment to being a leader in responsible investment in the Nordics.

The collaboration between Tulikivi, Polar Night Energy, and Loviisan Lämpö represents a significant advancement in the quest for sustainable energy solutions. By integrating traditional materials with innovative technologies, the project paves the way for greener, more efficient district heating systems, setting a benchmark for the energy sector's future.