Unique idea creates innovative energy cooperation

When Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Martin Lidegaard accompanied by CEO and Group President Carsten Bjerg are opening the new joint Energy Central, it is the culmination of a unique cooperation between the district heating station in Bjerringbro and Grundfos.

The two partners present an unusual setup, where cooling of the machinery at Grundfos now takes place in one jointly owned Energy Central.

- It is an exceptional facility, where we make use of the fact that we must cool down our machines. The district heating station receives the heat from the cooling machine in return and this heat will benefit the residents of Bjerringbro, who will save money, says Klaus E. Christensen, Senior Environment Consultant at Grundfos.

The collaboration as well as the idea in general received praise from Martin Lidegaard:

- This collaboration is a vision of what we want to do in Denmark. Building on a strong cooperation between the private- and the public sectors, contributing to the green change-over, we want. It is an example to be followed, because the better we get at doing this, the better it is for Denmark.

A joint investment
The facility, which is the biggest and first of its kind in Denmark, has cost approximately 34 million DKK and has a repayment period of about 12 years. The Energy Central is jointly owned by the two companies, which is an important explanation of the repayment period.

- We have chosen to look at it as a long term investment, where the biggest winner is the environment that will be spared from 3.700 ton CO2 a year. I know that it is a quite long repayment period in the sector, but not when it comes to district heating systems, says Charles Winther Hansen, who is Manager at the heating station in Bjerringbro. He estimates that the facility will yield a yearly saving of about three million DKK, which will be shared equally between the three parties.

Idea for others
According to Charles Winther Hansen the facility would have never become reality if both parties had not been willing to work together. The idea has been developed jointly and can profitably be used by others, according to Klaus E. Christensen and Charles Winther Hansen.

- There have been a lot of challenges, and the project has only been made possible, because we choose to see possibilities rather than obstacles, and agreed to share the investments and savings equally, says Charles Winther Hansen.

To Grundfos it has been important to solve the challenge of getting the engines cooled and reducing the emission of CO2.

- In the Grundfos Group we are very concerned about ensuring that our activities affect the environment as little as possible, and I am very pleased that the project helps fulfil our objective about never to emit more CO2 that we did in 2008, says Klaus E. Christensen.

Caption: Chairman of the district heating plant of Bjerringbro Erling Krogh Sørensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard and Grundfos CEO Carsten Bjerg discuss the possibilities for broad, green cooperation.