Telia and the energy company Helen have agreed to utilize the heat generated in the Telia data center. According to the plans, the waste heat collected from Telia's data center in Pitäjänmäki would be transferred to the district heating network for distribution to Helsinki homes and properties from June 2022. At its best, the data center will heat the homes of more than 20,000 Helsinki residents in the future.
As the use of data increases, so does electricity consumption in computer rooms. At the same time, they generate a significant amount of heat. Telia and the energy company Helen plan to connect Telia's Pitäjänmäki data center to the district heating network and heat Helsinki's homes with the help of the heat collected from the data center.
"It's great to design a new cleaner energy future together with Telia. Data centers are an excellent regional source of heat and we will increase it where ever we can. Helen's district heating will be completely carbon-neutral by the year 2035," says Director Anu-Elina Hintsa Helen.
In the district heating system, there is a shift from centralized heat production to a decentralized system where customers can act as both consumers and producers. The existing district heating network serves as an excellent platform for new carbon-neutral solutions. Computer rooms are an excellent source of heat because they produce heat evenly throughout the year.
"The central location of the data center makes it possible to supply waste heat to the district heating network for the growing needs of Helsinki. The carbon-neutral district heat produced by the Helsinki data center can heat up to 20,000 homes in the future. We also intend to reduce the amount of our waste to zero through the circular economy", says Eija Pitkänen, Telia's Vice President, Sustainability .
Reform electricity taxation of heat pumps and computer rooms is key
Achieving climate goals requires a shift to carbon-neutral energy and away from combustion-based energy solutions. By using the waste heat generated by data centers, the achievement of climate goals can be significantly accelerated. An important step here is to reduce the electricity tax for heat pumps to a lower tax class.
"The change in the electricity tax class for heat pumps and data centers is important for the implementation of carbon-neutral projects. Helen has many projects based on heat pumps in the study and the Pitäjänmäki project is one of the feasible as the change in the electricity tax class for heat pumps progresses".
Telia and Helen are committed to the City of Helsinki's Climate Partners network, which aims to strengthen cooperation in climate change mitigation and support the City of Helsinki's carbon neutrality goal.