by | May 15, 2017

Fensmark at Næstved has been known as the glass city since 1825, as the city produces glass in all shades. Since 2014, the city has also been home to a successful exchange of surplus heat between packaging manufacturer Ardagh Glass Holmegaard and Fensmark Fjernvarme. Together with the two companies, Gate 21 hosted a Academy 21 masterclass to share experiences about how one company’s trash (or excess) could become another company’s treasure.

On a daily basis, 365 days a year, Ardagh Glass Holmegaard melts shards of glass, sand, lime and soda into glass pulp and breathes it into to beer bottles, spice jars and a wide variety of other packaging types.

There will be millions of new packaging vessels produced this year – and a large amount of surplus heat. Since 2014 Ardagh has been selling this heat to its neighbor Fensmark Fjernvarme, which supplies heat to the city’s citizens.

Now Ardagh is replacing one of its glass ovens, which means that more of the factory’s surplus heat can be utilized. Together with Næstved Kommune, Næstved Varmeværk and Gate 21, the two companies are participating in the project “Collective Green Heating”, which works to spread the collective heat supply with green heat sources.

Focus on experiences and challenges

Many district heating businesses have worked to create similar collaborations, but this is no simple task. That’s why this kind of collaboration became the topic for Gate 21’s Academy 21 masterclass, for all its partners and members. At the masterclass, the partners shared their experiences with the participants, speaking with employees from municipalities, utilities, manufacturing companies, universities, consulting firms and boards. Among the organizations represented were Danish District Heating, Roskilde University and the consultancy house Viegand Maagøe, which focused on experiences and challenges, and gave insight into taxes, technology and legislation. The masterclass was completed with a tour through the glass factory to see the production.

Transparent gains

Cooperation on surplus heat has both environmental and economic benefits for all parties. Ardagh is one of the country’s largest energy consumers, and therefore energy issues are high priority within the company, says Technical Manager Lasse Petterson.

“Energy concerns us a lot, both environmentally and economically. By working with Fensmark Fjernvarme we can prevent our surplus heat from being wasted – instead, the surplus heat gives us an income. At the same time, this strengthens our green profile and it is something our customers are asking for more and more. Therefore, there is also good branding value in energy cooperation.”

According to Lasse Petterson, cooperation also strengthens ties to the local area, where a large proportion of the inhabitants work at either the glass company or the district heating supply.

Mads Elming is chairman of Fensmark Fjernvarme and says that the use of surplus heat has meant a 30 percent reduction in heating prices for district heating customers.

“The heat we receive from Ardagh is below the price of the heat we produce today. Thus, we can both repay our investments, achieve significant CO2 savings and give customers favorable heating prices,” he says.

Engaged discussion

The masterclass participants showed interest and commitment when presented with discussion topics including surplus heat taxes, the Energy Commission’s new report and the ability of municipalities to establish similar collaborations between companies and utilities.

A couple of participants had these comments:

Jacob Skjødt Nielsen, Green Ambassador for Køge Municipality:

“In Køge we work with excess heat as part of our strategic energy planning. A symbiotic business partnership has already been created between CP Kelco and VEKS (Vestegnens Kraftvarmeselskab), where CP Kelco supplies both surplus heat to VEKS and lemon-peel waste to Solrød Biogas, which supplies VEKS’s biogas engine in Solrød. In this way we utilize energy that would otherwise be wasted. In addition, we are very interested in how we can contact several smaller companies and can help them get started with similar projects.”

Marie-Louise Lemgart, climate consultant in Høje-Taastrup Municipality:

“In 2015 Høje Taastrup Municipality adopted a Strategic Energy and Climate Plan 2020, which provides a framework for the green transition in the areas of energy and climate. We optimize the energy within our own buildings and have replaced a large part of our car fleet with electric cars. District heating is well developed in the municipality and we work with the district heating company to integrate further green solutions where excess heat is an essential element. It has been exciting to hear about a concrete project from three different perspectives: the district heating company, the municipalities and the businesses. ”

Presentations from the masterclass and the “Guide for the utilization of surplus heat from companies” can be found here (in Danish)


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