A prerequisite for the operation of the electricity grid is that the production and consumption is in balance. To maintain the balance, one can either adjust production or increase the demand flexibility. To maintain the balance of the electricity grid, Finngrid, the Finnish grid operator, has created an open market where electricity producers and consumers can participate. This is called “demand response” of electricity grids. Finngrid will compensate the participating consumers for standby and activated reserves.
At IsoKristiina and Iso Omena, Citycon has studied the potential of participating in the demand response market through frequency reserve markets by regulating the building service technology energy use or by combining this with an energy reserve. In 2019, we are striving to put the plans into action.
In practice, this means that when the grid experiences a sudden surge in energy demand, our HVAC systems, water cooling machines, and so on will run on lower effect for a short while, thus freeing up grid capacity. If necessary, we can also provide the effect of our stand-by generators to the grid. On the scale of the entire national grid, participating in demand response markets leads to smaller and less frequent energy peaks, which will decrease the need to start reserve energy generation, powered by fossil fuels.
In November 2019, Iso Omena joined Fortum's district heating consumption flexibility, where intelligent control of heat can significantly reduce emissions. At the same time, the shopping centre will use Fortum's Ekoplus heat, which is produced with 100% renewable fuels and waste heat.
Starting in the summer of 2018, the district cooling used by Iso Omena has been produced by free cooling from waste water. The Suomenoja pumping plant, that provides the district cooling for Iso Omena, uses CO2 -free electricity through purchases of Guarantees of Origin.
Thus, heating and cooling of Is Omena is carbon-free. All electricity bought by Citycon for own consumption is carbon neutral.