Green heating for Denmark's second largest city

The Studstrup Power Station is located northeast of Aarhuse. (Photo: DONG Energy)
The Studstrup Power Station is located northeast of Aarhuse. (Photo: DONG Energy)

In Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, one of the world’s biggest biogas-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) stations is located. On October 10th the Studstrup Power Station switched to use exclusively wood pellets instead of coal. The plant is now providing green heating and electricity for the city and the surrounding area corresponding to the annual heating consumption of 225,000 residents.

The recently completed conversion of Studstrup is not only the biggest single event in the entire green transformation of Aarhus but also the biggest conversion to green energy sources in Denmark. The process of converting the power plant took over two year of intensive planning and working. The green conversion of the Studstrup Power Station has provided the City of Aarhus with a tangible force for change.

Aarhus’ Climate Plan 2016-2020 will set its next climate target, and within the heating area, the new biomass-fueled CHP station at Lisbjerg will also come on line within the next few months, supplying green heating to Aarhus. Aarhus Municipality will thus bolster district heating again, ensuring supply of green energy for many years to come, as Studstrup Power Station will supply 50% of the green district heating annually, and the biomass-fueled CHP at Lisbjerg will supply 20% on an annual basis.

"I’m delighted that we can now open the new, green Studstrup Power Station, which will be able to supply green district heating to Aarhus and green electricity to the Danish grid. That means a significant contribution to the green revolution, and we're well on the way to establishing an energy system that is green, independent and economically sustainable," says Thomas Dalsgaard, Executive Vice President, DONG Energy.

Apart from the now completed switch from coal to wood pellets, the Department of Waste and District Heating in Aarhus built two massive electric boilers at Studstrup Power Plant 18 months ago. They can generate electricity to produce district heating when the Danish wind turbines are running at full capacity, and the electricity prices are low.

The conversion, costing around DKK 1.3 billion, makes Studstrup Power Station one of the biggest biomass-fueled power stations in the world. In future, it is expected to produce district heating based on biomass for around 106,000 Danish homes as well as green electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of around 230,000 Danish homes.

Philipp Kronsbein / DONG Energy