LEMPÄÄLÄ, FINLAND – Lempäälän Energia Oy and leading fuel cell system developer Convion have signed an agreement regarding a delivery of two Convion C50 fuel cell systems to Marjamäki district. The delivery is part of project LEMENE, earmarked by the Finnish government as a key project in helping the country achieve its national energy targets for decarbonisation.
The LEMENE smart grid system will be powered by a 4MW solar photovoltaic array, an 8MW biogas engine and a battery to deliver a secure and reliable power supply, ensuring energy self-sufficiency for the industrial district of Marjamäki, in south-western Finland.
Under the recently signed agreement, the two fuel cell co-generation systems built by Convion will be integrated into the smart grid in the district. At the heart of the combined heat and power (CHP) systems with a total electrical output of 116kW are the next generation of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks, from leading fuel cell manufacturer Elcogen.
The unique LEMENE project showcases low-carbon energy generation, energy storage and smart controls, combining to provide a self-sufficient district energy solution.
The flagship project has been highlighted by the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as an example of a solution that can help Finland achieve its national targets and those set by the European Union for 2030. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government has called for increasing the use of renewable energy to more than 50 per cent during the 2020s, and self-sufficiency to more than 55 per cent.
Lempäälä Energia CEO Toni Laakso said:
“The LEMENE system will operate mainly as part of the public electrical grid but can also operate as a supporting reserve system for the public electrical grid, or independently off-grid, on demand.
“The LEMENE smart grid will feature a variety of smart technologies that will respond to changing electric demand, enabled by automation solutions adapted to the micro-grid. An important part of the project is to secure energy availability as renewable energy production varies.
“In conjunction with the solar array and battery storage, the LEMENE system also required a highly-efficient combined heat and power system from Convion that would convert biogas to generate electricity and heat to supply nearby businesses.”
Convion CEO Erkko Fontell said:
“The LEMENE project provides us a great opportunity to demonstrate highly efficient and clean power generation based on Convion fuel cell products. The project is a unique example of a future power solution, where requirements for energy efficiency, power security and sustainability are met.
“It shows how Convion fuel cells can be part of future smart grids, where different energy sources and a network of distributed solutions revolutionise how we produce electricity.”
Elcogen CEO Enn Õunpuu said:
“We’re excited that Elcogen’s next generation fuel cell technology is at the heart of this renewable energy smart grid system that can demonstrate how to decarbonise Europe’s energy markets and deliver self-sufficiency for residential and commercial power.
“This key renewable energy project will serve as an exceptional opportunity to explore how a larger scale smart grid functions in conjunction with the current electricity market, while generating 100 per cent renewable power from solar and bio-gas sources.”
Convion Ltd. is a leading fuel cell system developer committed to commercializing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems in power range of 50–300kW for distributed power generation. By commitment, creativity and agility of Convion team and collaboration with best partners throughout our supply chain, Convion will provide its customers with cost competitive and environmentally sound power generation solutions that radically improve reliability of energy supply and efficiency of primary energy use as well as make possible future increases of renewables in energy mix. Convion shareholders include Power Fund III, managed by VNT Management, founders and Wärtsilä.
Elcogen set out to develop the next generation of fuel cell from the ground up to overcome the key challenges holding back the technology. Elcogen delivered cells with the world’s highest efficiencies while also addressing key issues around cost, scale and lifetimes. Elcogen’s solution was to develop a unique anode-supported ceramic technology to create solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with the market’s lowest operating temperatures. Low temperatures mean Elcogen cells can utilise low-cost materials designed for mass manufacturing, while also delivering longer system lifetimes. Based in Estonia & Finland, Elcogen supplies more than 60 global customers.