Logistics centre replaces district heating with a combination of heat pumps and solar power.

LeaseGreen is in the process of planning and carrying out a complete energy system modernisation on four logistics properties in Vantaa. The renovation includes a switch of heating source: the buildings will be disconnected from the district heating network and the necessary energy will in future be produced by a combination of heavy-duty heat pumps and solar generators. To LeaseGreen’s knowledge, this will be the first time that a large-scale commercial property in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area has given up district heating.

“Our aim is to improve these properties’ competitiveness, to reduce maintenance charges for our tenants, and to cut the buildings’ CO2 emissions”, says Real Estate Manager Matti Puromäki from OP Real Estate Asset Management.

“This is OP Real Estate Asset Management’s biggest energy investment to date. The new energy system is a responsible choice both financially and environmentally. Our collaboration with LeaseGreen is a step on the path towards a more carbon-neutral future for us. I believe our tenants will also appreciate our new ability to generate clean energy on site.”

The GCT and STC logistics properties are located within the Aviapolis complex, close to Helsinki Airport, and were built in 2011–2012. Their total area is 22,000 m2, and they house business units of companies such as Leipurin Plc and the Posti Group.

According to estimates by LeaseGreen and OP Real Estate Asset Management, the switch to geothermal heating will reduce the properties’ heating costs by over 20 per cent, and cut their carbon footprint by around 60 per cent. The life cycle savings to be achieved from the new systems are expected to rise to 4–5 million euros.

“LeaseGreen’s teams have a high level of expertise in planning and executing these projects”, Puromäki says. “It is beneficial for customers to have someone look at their properties as a whole, utilising the best parts of the old system and replacing the parts that can produce the greatest yields. I admire LeaseGreen’s courage in questioning old operating models, and its excellent approach to completing projects.”

The heat pumps, scheduled for installation this summer, have a total output of up to 600 kWh, which corresponds to the capacity of around one hundred of the pumps typically installed in single-family homes. There will be nearly fifty geothermal wells. Further energy efficiency improvements will be achieved by replacing lighting systems with modern LED technology.

“This project represents a continuation and extension of our cooperation with OP Real Estate Asset Management, and it is of particular interest in terms of the Finnish energy system and property sector as a whole”, says LeaseGreen CEO Tomi Mäkipelto.

“As far as we know, OP is the first institutional investor in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area to disconnect a significantly sized property from the district heating network. I believe that this will set a very interesting precedent for other similar property investors in the region. District heating is an efficient energy production method, but it is still mostly generated by fossil fuels in Vantaa, Espoo and Helsinki. The switch to heat pumps is already cost-effective in itself, and will be even more so as the cost of district heating rises due to power companies having to give up on coal. OP has demonstrated that energy users can take matters into their own hands and swiftly reduce their carbon footprints through measures that are financially profitable.”