City of Oslo Commissioner visits Ferd Energy

Stokers: Bård Folke Fredriksen (on the left) and Johan H. Andresen shovel pellets – a job normally carried out by the automatic stoking system.
“A fine example of how innovative thinking and understanding local opportunities can lead to an unusually environmentally-friendly solution”. This was the view expressed by the City of Oslo's Commissioner for Urban Development, Bård Folke Fredriksen of the Conservative Party, on a visit to Ferd Energy’s virtually CO2-neutral local heating facility at Ensjø in Oslo.

The visit came about following an invitation by Johan H. Andresen, Ferd's owner and chairman, for the Commissioner to inspect the new facility that supplies hot water and heating to the emerging development at Tiedemannsbyen.

“So far the facility serves around 100 apartments and townhouses, but once the development project is completed the local heating system will deliver virtually climate-neutral heating and water to around 1,400 residential units - and the solution would not have been possible without the City Administration's approval for Tiedemannsbyen to be exempted from the mandatory connection to the district heating network”, explains Johan H. Andresen.

98% renewable energy
This is the first time such an exemption has been granted in Oslo. The background for the decision is that the new local heating system is based on 98% renewable energy, which represents a much higher renewable percentage than the comparable figure for the district heating network.

“The district heating network plays an important role in reducing the use of fossil fuels. However, the City of Oslo is keen to encourage innovation and development, and takes a positive view when a developer shows a commitment to a solution that offers even better environmental characteristics. This makes it possible for us to consider exemptions from the normal requirement to connect to the district heating network in special circumstances”, explains Bård Folke Fredriksen. He goes on to stress that the City applies strict requirements for the documented characteristics of alternative solutions.

Complex documentation
Carl Brynjulfsen, Executive Vice President at Ferd Real Estate, which owns Ferd Energy, explains that the high renewable energy percentage reflects the fact that the fully automatic heating facility burns wooden pellets.

“However, we faced a complex challenge to document the 98% renewable percentage. This involved various investigations and the submission of extensive calculations”, he explains.
The City of Oslo's own experts also carried out a thorough evaluation of the documentation before the exemption was approved. Since then, the County Governor for Oslo and Akershus has also reviewed the material, and subsequently rejected the appeal by the district heating supplier against the exemption granted by the City.

“This represents final approval for Ferd Energy’s solution using its own local heating facility, while at the same time representing an additional stamp of approval for the decision reached by the City”, explains Bård Folke Fredriksen.

Johan H. Andresen praised the City of Oslo for its results-oriented openness in dealing with an alternative that combined better environmental performance with a sound commercial rationale.

“The Tiedemannsbyen heating facility is not only virtually CO2-neutral, but has also allowed the re-use of some components from the heating facility used by the tobacco factory before its closure. We have, of course, replaced the old oil-fired boiler with a new clean-burning solution, and have installed a fully automatic system for storing and handling the wooden pellets”, he explains.

Historic monument
The new heating facility has also given the 63 meter high chimney from the old tobacco factory a new lease of life. The chimney now carries water vapour and marginal amounts of ash and gas from the new boiler high into the sky where the discharge spreads into the atmosphere. The discharges from the new facility are well within the limits set by the authorities.

“The chimney has been given protected status. It is a fine monument to the industrial history of the Ensjø area, and this is particularly pleasing to see that it also has a worthwhile new function”, comments Bård Folke Fredriksen.

Biomass heating facility for Tiedemannsbyen

  • Delivers virtually CO2-neutral “local heating” for warm water and heating to the Tiedemannsbyen development, which is currently being developed on the site of the former J.L. Tiedemanns tobacco factory at Ensjø in Oslo
  • Currently serves around 100 residential units, but this will increase to 1,400 over the course of 10 to 15 years. In the intervening period, the facility also serves the warehousing units that are let to tenants in the parts of the factory that have not yet been demolished.
  • The biomass heating facility uses wooden pellets as environmentally-friendly fuel. The facility achieves 98% renewable energy. This calculation includes the discharges involved in the production and transportation of the pellets.
  • The cost to users of energy supplied by Ferd Energy will be at the same level as energy supply by the district heating network, and below the level of electric power.
  • Ferd Energy is wholly-owned by Ferd Real Estate.

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