This year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Energy Authority and the state-owned sustainable development company Motiva awarded the prize to three sustainable projects that are examples of solutions that improve energy efficiency and recycle waste energy.
The jury emphasised the long-term and multifaceted work done at S Group's logistics centre for grocery products to improve energy efficiency: “The combined energy-efficient solutions in Finland’s largest logistics centre are a good example of how the appropriate use of energy can be advanced step by step in a comprehensive manner,” the jury says.
Energy Manager Miika Kakko from SOK Kiinteistöässä also points out that the energy management of the logistics centre is holistic and energy consumption has been reduced there in many different ways.
“For example, we have increased energy recycling in heating to more than 50 percent, which has reduced the need for heat energy produced by combustion. We have also built one of Finland’s largest solar power plants and electricity batteries.”
In addition to the solar power plants and batteries, the logistics centre has made a number of other investments to reduce energy consumption and emissions.
“In 2020, a 1 MW high-temperature heat pump was installed in the centre. Heat recovery from refrigeration equipment is used as heat source. This has enabled us to reduce the use of wood pellets and fuel oil, which we used to use as a back-up energy source, by 5,000-6,000 megawatt hours per year," says Mr Kakko.
In the same year, a snow melting system based on weather forecasts was also brought into use, which helps to adjust the heating in front of the loading docks to suit the conditions and reduces the need for maintenance heating. The innovation reduces heat consumption by 500–1,000 megawatt hours per year, depending on weather conditions.
A lighting renovation is underway at the logistics centre for grocery products, where the conventional lighting installed during the construction of the logistics centre will be replaced by LED lighting The lighting renovation will both reduce the electricity consumption of lighting and reduce the need for cooling caused by lighting. This will reduce annual electricity consumption between 3,500–4,000 MWh.
In normal operation, the grocery trade logistics centre is already carbon emission-free. For example, in 2020 the share of energy sources with carbon emissions was less than one per mille. Kakko emphasises that the development in Sipoo is well in line with S Group’s adopted goal of being carbon negative by 2025 in own operations (scope 1 and 2).
The Energy Genius of the Year 2021 awards were announced on Thursday 9 December at a webinar on new ideas for energy efficiency for 2022 in Helsinki.