Latvian city invests in solar district heating to transition away from gas

By October 23, 2018Stories

The first solar district heating system in Latvia is being developed in Salaspils. The solar district heating system has a collector field with a total of 1.720 collectors or 21.672 m2. The installation will be the biggest large-scale solar district heating system in Europe – if you do not take Danish installations into account. 12.000 MWh heat will be produced annually and when completed in the second half of 2019 it will cover 20% of the heating demand in Salaspils.

The total cost of the project is 6,9 million euros, of which almost 40 % or 2,7 million euros is covered by Cohesion funds. “We have been working on this project since attending a district heating conference in Denmark in 2014. The objective is to reduce our CO2 footprint and become more independent of fossil fuels. Solar heating enables us to produce sustainable energy at low fixed price for at least the next 25 years,” says Ina Berzina-Veita, Member of the Board, Salaspils Siltums.

Danish large-scale solar heating specialist Arcon-Sunmark – who has developed large-scale solar heating projects on four continents – applauds the project in Salaspils. In Europe, interest in renewable energy in general and solar heating in particular is currently very strong. The main upsides with large-scale solar heating are that it is efficient, clean and price competitive with traditional energy sources.

“Large-scale solar heating is a proven technology that has been used in 30 years and improved steadily over the years. The project in Salaspils is an important milestone for solar heating in Europe as it demonstrates the versatility and adaptability of the technology by introducing it to Latvia for the first time,” says Ole Dalby, CEO, Arcon-Sunmark.

The solar heating system is part of a major update of the district heating facilities in Salaspils. At this moment the main heating source is a 7 MW wood chip boiler. As a part of this project additionally will be installed 3 MW wood chip boiler so produced heat from wood chips will be upgraded to 10 MW. Upgrades to the control systems for the district heating in Salaspils as well as a storage tank are also a part of the project.

“We have a lot of experience working with sustainable energy solutions that benefit both community and environment. The project in Salaspils is very inspirational and is a model example for others to follow,” says Agris Šipkovs, Director, Filter SIA.

This article first appeared here and here