Tornion Voima Oy made the decision to invest in a new electric boiler back in 2022. The electric boiler will be used to produce process steam and district heating for the Outokumpu stainless steel mill and will have a capacity of 40 MW. The new boiler will perfectly support the New Electricity Revolution strategy of Tornion Voima’s parent company, EPV Energy, as well as its mission to achieve zero-emission and flexible energy generation and consumption. By using an electric boiler, Tornion Voima will reduce the amount of energy produced by combustion and subsequently the region’s airborne emissions. The boiler will be commissioned in February 2024.
The simplest way to explain how the electric boiler works is to describe it as a very large kettle.
“It uses electricity to make heat. In practice, water from the boiler’s primary circuit is pumped into a pressurised water vessel containing electrical resistance elements, and the boiler’s output capacity will be controlled at the tank’s surface. The steam from the electric boiler is fed into the stainless steel mill’s steam network or, via a heat exchanger, into the district heating network. The boiler will have an independent automation system, which is connected to the main automation system of the power plant site, as a single heat production unit. This allows us to ensure a smooth supply of steam and district heat together with the Tornio power plant,” says Development Manager Niko Rautio from Tornion Voima.
“The boiler will be located in a new purpose-built building in the Outokumpu factory area, where the boiler and the infrastructure required for it can be easily constructed and connections to the rest of the steam and heat distribution network are feasible. Without the existing distribution network, the cost of the electric boiler project would be many times higher,” Rautio explains.
Using an electric boiler does not produce emissions like combustion technology does. The project is therefore also in line with Finland’s and the EU’s climate targets. The electric boiler is also one of the solutions included in the programme Towards a Fossil-free Finland.
EPV Energy’s electric boiler capacity rises to 240 MW
EPV Energy already has four electric boilers in use, three in Vaasa and one in Seinäjoki. In Vaasa and Seinäjoki, the electric boilers are part of the district heating production system. Their total capacity is 200 megawatts and once the Tornio boiler is commissioned, EPV will have five boilers with a combined capacity of 240 megawatts. Electric boilers are an important component of the clean heat generation system of the future and an essential part of EPV’s adjustable production capacity.
The electric boiler supports EPV’s risk management and reliability to a considerable extent. As renewable energy production increases, the electric boiler also supports the provisions for adjustment of the electricity system. When emissions are reduced, the structure of the production capacity changes significantly and, at the same time, it becomes more limited and the dispatchable generation capacity is reduced. These changes place new demands on the electricity system. In the future, the electricity system will need more and more regulation capability and TES facilities. By using an electric boiler, EPV Energy can help to take advantage of low electricity prices in situations where there is a great deal of renewable energy in the electricity system.
For more information contact: Niko Rautio, Development Manager, 0405597545, Aki Hakulinen, CEO, 050 3862602