Solar power

Oulun Energia has delivered a giant solar power plant of 3,500 panels to produce renewable energy for Kyläkauppa’s needs. The solar power plant is Finland’s largest department store plant, and also the biggest roof-installed solar power system. It covers ca. 12,000m² of the 65,000m² roof area. The area would fit 240 one-bedroom apartments. The solar power plant’s power is one million watts, which equals the yearly energy consumption of nearly 400 one-bedroom apartments.

Kyläkauppa’s biggest energy consumers are refrigerators, air conditioning, and lighting, the electrical energy for which is now being produced with Kyläkauppa’s own solar power plant. Utilizing solar power is a concrete environmental accomplishment, and the aim is also to achieve significant cost savings with it.

“We are committed to energy efficiency agreements in commerce and invested one million euros in changing to energy-efficient lighting,” says Vesa Keskinen, the CEO of Veljekset Keskinen Oy. “After renewing our lighting systems and installing the solar power plant, we are achieving a 20% savings in energy consumption.”

Kyläkauppa’s aim is to increase the amount of renewable energy, and the roof would fit as many as 10,000 panels more. “In accordance with our energy strategy, we will increase the portion of solar power immediately if the taxation of small-scale solar power production is amended,” emphasizes Vesa Keskinen. “When the tax limit is removed, our aim is that all electricity acquired and used by us would be renewable by 2025.”

A sustainable solution requires professional planning and high-quality components. Oulun Energia has delivered several large solar power plants, for instance for the printing house of the newspaper Kaleva, for Technopolis Oy properties, and for the Viikki campus of the University of Helsinki. “Energy consumption in commerce and accommodation is high, especially in the summertime,” says Antti Korkala, project manager at Oulun Energia. “Kyläkauppa’s location in Tuuri is favourable for solar power production. It’s situated in an open place, and the panels can be directed towards the south.”

This large investment required initial reports on, for instance, the usability of solar power and the scale of the equipment. This and the call for tenders were organized by Oy, which also produced investment profitability calculations on the solar power systems offered.