Pressemitteilung • April 19, 2023
Sønderborg Varme A/S and Innargi A/S has entered into an agreement about investigating the possibility of establishing 1-2 geothermal heating plants with a capacity of 17-34 MW in Sønderborg. The agreement is part of Sønderborg Varme’s ambitions to phase out natural gas and utilize the geothermal resources underneath Sønderborg.
Already in 2007, Sønderborg Varme decided to develop geothermal energy for district heating, and a plant was established in collaboration with DONG Energy. Soon after being put into operation in 2013, however, the plant had problems with pumping the geothermal water back into the subsurface, and in 2018 the plant was taken out of commission.
“It is too bad that the existing plant no longer works, but it has confirmed a good geothermal potential underneath Sønderborg, and that fits well into our strategy for the district heating system in the Municipality of Sønderborg. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that is energy efficient and delivers 24/7, year-round – Also when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. With the competence and business model from Innargi, we have an opportunity to utilise this energy source anew without having to shoulder the subsurface risk.”
“We estimate a good potential for geothermal heating in Sønderborg and we look forward to developing this project in collaboration with Sønderborg Varme. We actually expect to build new plants, as we use a different technology compared to the old plant – both above and beneath the ground.”
District heating in rapid expansion
The district heating network in Sønderborg is popular, having many new connectors in the existing district heating area, and during the last few years, the district heating companies in Augustenborg and Gråsten has merged together with Sønderborg Varme. With that comes a substantial potential for expansion. Sønderborg Varme expects an addition of 50,000 MWh/year in the next 3-4 years. That corresponds to 12% of Sønderborg total district heat production (2021).
“All together, the merges, plans for additions, work on an interconnected district heating system in the Municipality of Sønderborg, and the vision of carbon neutral district heating in 2029 is the basis for investigating the possibility of to geothermal plants in our area.”
A joint history
It is not the first time that Sønderborg Varme and Innargi has talked to each other. In the end of 2016, a visit to Sønderborg Varme was part of what inspired A. P. Moller Holding to found Innargi. Participating in that visit was, among others, Robert Uggla from A. P. Moller Holding, the sitting chairperson of Innargi Claus Hemmingsen, and Jørgen Mads Clausen from Danfoss.
“There is no doubt that the meeting with those very experienced district heating people left a big impression. It is one thing to see the potential of geothermal energy from a professional subsurface perspective. It is entirely different to listen to visionary district heating people talk about the value of geothermal heat for a modern district heating company. There is no doubt that this visit is among the reasons for the founding of Innargi.”
The parties involved expect that it will take about half a year to determine the commercial circumstances and an additional half a year to analyse the local conditions before the actual drilling and construction can begin. At best, the heat can be delivered to the district heating network at the end of 2026 or beginning of 2027.
Erik Wolff, Manager, Sønderborg Varme – No. 5151 4947
Asbjørn Haugstrup, Chief of Communications, Innargi – No. 2672 9421