Consortium partner Gren unveils innovative heat storage facility in Tartu

Oct 31, 2023

In October, Gren, a consortium partner of the oPEN Lab project, inaugurated a new €5.5 million heat storage facility in Tartu. The primary objective is to curtail the reliance on gas in district heating operations, resulting in more stable pricing.

The facility boasts a 10,000 cubic meter insulated water tank constructed from steel, standing at an impressive 45 meters in height with a diameter of 17 meters. This setup addresses the fluctuations in heat demand observed throughout the day and seasons.

Margo Külaots, Head of Gren’s business operations in Estonia, elucidates the functionality, stating that surplus daytime heat is stored as hot water. Subsequently, during colder nights, this stored heat is seamlessly integrated into the district heating network. This innovative approach eliminates the need to keep gas-powered boilers active during the night hours, ensuring a significant reduction in both costs and carbon emissions.

Additionally, the implementation of this advanced system will decrease annual gas consumption by an equivalent amount used by 18 large apartment blocks in Tartu’s Annelinn district, which is involved with the oPEN Lab project. Külaots underscores the positive impact on pricing, emphasising the heightened security of supply alongside potential cost stability for district heating customers.

While Estonia is witnessing the debut of such facilities, Külaots attributes this partly to evolving energy trends and advancements in construction and insulation technologies, allowing for the development of higher-standard storage solutions. This forward-thinking initiative reflects Gren’s commitment to sustainable and efficient district heating practices, aligning seamlessly with the goals of the oPEN Lab project.