Lippulaiva to house the world’s largest geothermal power plant in a shopping centre

Announced Date :  May 17, 2017


Citycon is building the new state-of-the-art Lippulaiva shopping centre in Espoo, Helsinki Area. The heating and cooling of the shopping centre will be produced by renewable, carbon-neutral geothermal energy derived from the bedrock. Lippulaiva will use all of the heating and cooling energy provided by the plant, so the energy production will be local.
The plant will make Lippulaiva almost completely self-sufficient in terms of heating and cooling energy.

Citycon is partnering in the project with energy company Adven, who will make the investment in the geothermal plant and will be in charge of contracting as well as operation during use of the facility. Lippulaiva’s plant is as far as known the largest geothermal heating and cooling facility in the world to be constructed in connection with a retail property.

The total output of the facility is roughly 4000kW, equalling 500 residential house heat pump systems. The shopping centre’s gross leasable area is 42,000 square metres, while the geothermal power plant will provide heating and cooling for of a gross area of 57,000 square metres in total. In addition to the leasable premises, the system provides heating and cooling for the parking garage and to the service floors located in connection to the shopping centre.

Self-sufficiency and environmental awareness

A shopping centre requires extensive cooling. In addition to the warm summer months, cooling is needed e.g. for the grocery stores’ refrigeration equipment throughout the year. Previously, Lippulaiva’s cooling was produced by blowing the cooled condensation heat into the air, but in the new facility, condensation heat will be recovered and recycled by storing it in the bedrock.

“With geothermal energy, cooling is produced locally and in an environmentally friendly manner. We no longer need to place condensers on the roof of the shopping centre; instead, the roof can be used for landscaping, or it can house solar panels or be a setting for recreational use. The third important aspect is the continuously increasing price of energy. The geothermal power plant will make us more self-sufficient and our energy costs more predictable,” says Citycon’s Project Director Heikki Alén.

A total of 170 geothermal wells will be drilled into the bedrock underneath Lippulaiva. Each of the wells will be approximately 300–350 metres deep, making the total length of the wells in the system 50 kilometres.

“Cooling is obtained from the bedrock in the summer and heat is transferred into it in exchange. The bedrock operates like a battery: the heat stored in it during the summer can be used during the heating season”, says Timo Koljonen, VP, Geoenergy, at Adven Group, as he describes the operating principle of the power station.

Drilling the geothermal wells began at the beginning of May 2017 and will continue until 2018. The work is scheduled to coincide with the construction of the new Lippulaiva shopping centre

“According to its values, Espoo is a responsible forerunner. We are committed to developing Espoo in a socially, ecologically and financially sustainable manner. According to an international comparison study, Espoo is the most sustainable city in Europe and we wish to maintain this status in the future as well. Citycon’s geothermal heating plant is an excellent example of how Espoo is implementing its strategy of being a pioneer in combatting climate change,” says Olli Isotalo, Head of Technical and Environment Services for the City of Espoo.

“There are great opportunities in the real estate sector to reduce energy consumption while also reducing energy-related environmental impacts and maintenance costs. Energy efficiency is a crucial factor in the strategy of Citycon. Reducing energy consumption, improving energy efficiency as well as using and producing renewable energy are all part of our strategy. This includes carrying out feasibility studies on renewable energy in connection with our development projects, and the geothermal energy solution at Lippulaiva is a good example of this”, says Wilhelm Ehrnrooth, Sustainability Analyst at Citycon.

Adven has earlier delivered a geothermal power station for Citycon in the Jakobsbergs Centrum shopping centre in Sweden.

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