Heat produced in CHP plants and heat-only boilers is transferred to consumers in the district heat network. Smart metering and control systems as well as open, two-way district heat networks are new types of solutions in the development of heat distribution.
Fortum owns and operates about 1,200 km of district heat network in Finland, 2,400 km in Sweden, 860 km in Poland, 300 km in the Baltic countries and 480 km in Russia. Additionally, in Stockholm Fortum owns the world's most extensive district cooling network, which consists of 204 km and has a capacity of 350 MW. In Espoo, Fortum also has a small local district cooling network of 1.5 km.
The environmental impacts of district heat distribution occur in the network construction phase. They are temporary in nature and common to other construction projects in society. With the exception of occasional water leaks, there are no environmental impacts arising from the use of district heat networks.
Uninterrupted heat delivery
An uninterrupted supply of district heat is important, particularly in the cold weather conditions of the North.
Fortum is continuously improving the reliability of its district heat networks by repairing faults found during scheduled maintenance and by investing in new network when needed.
As a result of interruptions caused by various reasons, district heat customers in the Nordic countries are without heat supply for only 1-2 hours per year on average. About half of the interruptions are caused by damage to the network and the work to repair it, and half are for some other reason, like network refurbishment work and connecting new customers to the district heat network. In general, new connections and district heat network branching can be implemented without interrupting heat distribution. When doing repair work that will cause an interruption in distribution, the aim is to schedule the work outside the heating season.
Reduction of heat losses in Russia
In Russia, Fortum produces more than 90% of the heat
demand of the cities Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Tobolsk and Ozersk. Fortum is aiming to build modern and energy-efficient heat distribution systems in the cities within its operating area. Refurbishment measures can reduce heat losses from district heat networks by 20-30%.
Fortum continued the modernisation of the Chelyabinsk district heat network infrastructure in 2013. Development of a modern heat distribution network also continued in Tyumen.