May 20, 2020 — Loiste Lämpö and CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd. signed an agreement concerning the construction of a district heating connection for a data center that will be built for the LUMI supercomputer and the utilization of waste heat the computer produces. According to the agreement, the data center, which will start operating at the beginning of 2021, will collect the heat generated as a by-product of its operations, which Loiste Lämpö will then transfer to its network to heat homes and commercial premises in Kajaani.
The LUMI supercomputer is a joint effort of the European Union’s EuroHPC Joint Undertaking and nine European countries, with investments totaling around 200 million euros. Half of the funding comes from the European Union and half from the participating countries. The construction of the data center is also supported by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund and the Regional Council of Kainuu.
“The location of an eco-efficient data center in Kajaani is the result of long-term negotiations between several partners. This is a significant climate act we are taking together with our customers and it will have a positive impact on the entire city’s carbon footprint. In addition, the project will create jobs in the Kajaani region,” says Loiste Lämpö’s CEO Heikki Juntunen.
Loiste Lämpö is currently developing a completely CO2-neutral district heating product. Consumer customers, companies and housing associations in Kajaani will next year have the opportunity to choose clean district heating produced with waste heat as their heating method.
“Reducing the carbon footprint is a globally critical target, to which the location of the EuroHPC machines have a huge impact, as supercomputers consume plenty of electricity. The advantages of Kajaani are the use of renewable energy and the possibility of hot water cooling, thanks to which the waste heat released from the data center can be utilized in Kajaani’s district heating network. CSC’s data center uses environmentally friendly electricity produced from renewable energy sources, which together with the utilization of waste heat reduces both the carbon footprint and the electricity bill,” says CSC’s Managing Director Kimmo Koski.
The computing power of the LUMI supercomputer is needed to conduct cutting-edge research in a wide variety of data- and computation-intensive disciplines, such as materials science, fusion research, pharmaceutical research, and climate research. There are a number of significant research problems in these areas that cannot be addressed without significantly higher computational capacity than what is available at present.
“With this project, the premises of the Renforsin Ranta business park will be heated almost entirely by the waste heat generated by the data center. This will reduce the area’s environmental impact significantly,” says Jaakko Kaijalainen, UPM Kiinteistöt, responsible for Renforsin Ranta business park.
“We have been actively applying for data center operators in the area since the start of our operations. It is great to now witness the launch of the LUMI data center and see all of its positive multiplier effects on the local community. Renforsin Ranta’s strengths support the location of data centers in the area, and I believe that the LUMI data center will have a positive effect on gaining other significant data center customers in Kajaani,” Kaijalainen continues.
District heating is local heating
Most of the district heat supplied by Loiste Lämpö is produced in Kainuun Voima’s (KAVO) cogeneration plant. Production is based on cogeneration of electricity and heat, where the energy content of the fuel is utilized very efficiently. In addition, district heating almost invariably generates fewer emissions than property-specific heat production. In 2019, renewable energy sources and slowly renewable peat accounted for 90–95 percent of Kajaani’s district heating energy sources.
About Loiste Lämpö
Loiste Lämpö Oy, part of the Loiste companies, is responsible for the transmission, distribution and sale of district heat in the urban area of Kajaani. It is also responsible for the maintenance and operation of the heating plants it owns. In 2019, a total of 282 GWh of district heat was sold to consumers, retail premises, companies and housing associations and a total of 319 GWh was generated.
About CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd.
CSC is a Finnish center of expertise in ICT that provides world-class services for research, education, culture, public administration and enterprises, to help them thrive and benefit society at large. Additional information: www.csc.fi LUMI supercomputer: www.lumi-supercomputer.eu