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Solar heat and wood chips in Nordby/Mårup

– unique district heating plant, based on solar collectors and wood chips

The district heating plant in Nordby/Mårup generates heat with 2500 m2 solar collectors and a 900 kW boiler fuelled with wood chips from island forests. Local citizens set up an initiative group to investigate whether or not a district heating scheme was an option for the two villages. The group recommended a project run by the local utility, NRGi, as they had the necessary experience from the district heating plant in Tranebjerg and other plants on the mainland. The Nordby/Mårup plant is commercially owned and operated like the plant in Tranebjerg by NRGi. It was finished in April 2002. Price: 20.4 million Danish crowns (about $4.1 million US). There are 178 consumers including several high-volume customers.

Homeowners with oil furnaces were the primary target group. They could join the project for a membership fee of 100 Danish crowns if they signed up before June, 1999. If you waited and signed up after this date, you had to pay 100% of the costs, about 40.000 Danish crowns ($8.000 US). This procedure is widely used in Denmark when establishing new district heating systems. It’s very important to have a large majority signed up before the plant and distribution pipeline is built. This offer you couldn’t refuse did the trick. 78% of the homeowners with oil furnaces in Nordby and 83% in Mårup signed up and the planning process could begin.

The woodchips are primarily delivered from the Brattingsborg estate on the south of the island.

Fact sheet:

  • Consumers:   185
  • Output:   1,6 MW
  • Woodchip consumption:  1.250 tons annually
  • Solar collector area:  2.500 m2
  • Solar storage tank:   800 m3
  • Established:   2001/2002
  • Fuels:  Solar heat and woodchips
  • Annual subscription:   Dkr 2,564 ($510 US)
  • Price per MW kr.    Dkr. 688 ($138 US)
  • New consumer fee:   Dkr. 25,000 ($5,000 US) plus Dkr. 1,200 per meter heating pipe

The island’s first district heating plant is still the biggest

– Tranebjerg’s district heating system is the largest district heating system on the island

The straw-fired boiler in Tranebjerg loads entire half-ton bales of straw, while the newer heating plants on the island shred the straw before it is blown into the boiler. This technique allows these plants to run efficiently in low last situations, not a common situation in Tranebjerg, where there are more consumers and a lower minimum call for heat. Local complaints about chimney emissions in the slack summer season forced the company to install a heat storage tank. The storage tank absorbed the excess heat and allowed total incineration of each bale so it wasn’t left smouldering because of insufficient heating demands.

The Tranebjerg plant is the oldest district heating plant on the island, established by the utility company NRGi in 1993. The boiler is straw-fired and its hot water meets the heating and hot water requirements of the participating households.

It now supplies about 85% of the heating in Tranebjerg. 263 homes, businesses, apartment complexes and institutions are supplied by the plant’s distribution pipes. The straw-fired boiler is rated at 3 MW and the total annual consumption is about 9,500 MWh. The construction costs in 1993 funds were 26.3 million Danish crowns, about $ 5.3 million US. The Danish Energy Authority did not subsidize these initial costs in any way.

Fact sheet:

  • Consumers:   400
  • Output:   3 MW
  • Annual consumption: 9.500 MWh
  • Established:   1993
  • Fuels:  Wheat and rye straw
  • Annual subscription:  Dkr 2,695 ($539 US)
  • Price per MW:  kr.    Dkr. 772 ($155 US)
  • New consumer fee:   Dkr. 25,000 ($5,000 US) plus Dkr. 1,200 per meter heating pipe

The straw-fired district heating system in Ballen/Brundby

– a consumer owned heating plant

The Ballen/Brundby district heating plant uses wheat and rye straw from the island. It is the only 100% consumer-owned heating plant on the island. There are 232 consumers in the villages Ballen and Brundby, and the heating plant is situated by the road joining the two villages.

In the fall of 2002, citizens from both villages joined a group facilitated by the Samsø Energy Company to establish a district heating system based on straw for the two villages. They held 11 committee meetings, two public meetings and a flyer was distributed to every household in the two villages. In October 2003, the statutory general meeting chose 6 committee members from the villages. Some time later the island municipal council appointed the final member.

The island council is also economically involved as guarantor for the construction loan. The council approves any changes made in the heating costs. The Danish Energy Authority helped fund the district heating system with a grant of Dkr. 2.5 million crowns ($500.000 US) and consumers who joined initially paid 100 Dkr. a house. Once the decision was made to establish the heating plant new consumers pay full price, about Dkr. 45.000 ($9.000 US).

Fact sheet:

  • Consumers: 240
  • Output:    1,6 MW
  • Straw consumption:  1.200 tons annually
  • Annual consumption:   approx. 3,300 MWh/yr
  • Established:    2004-2005
  • Construction costs:     approx. Dkr. 16.2 million ($3.2 million US)
  • Fuels:   Wheat and rye straw
  • Annual subscription:    Dkr 2,564 ($510 US)
  • Price per MWh   kr.    Dkr. 675 ($135 US)
  • New consumer fee:    ca. approx. Dkr. 45,000 ($9,000 US)

The straw-fired district heating system in Onsbjerg

– a locally organized district heating plant

The district heating plant in Onsbjerg is a straw-based district heating system which supplies 76 homes and institutions. It differs from the other heating plants in its economic status as a limited company owned by the local entrepreneur, The Kremmer Jensen Brothers. The limited company is run by a board with two consumer representatives, one municipally appointed member and four owner representatives.

Talk about a district heating system in Onsbjerg started when the energy island project presented a rough sketch of the idea to the local citizens association. This initiative replaced the original island energy plan concept of a larger district heating scheme which would connect several villages from Onsbjerg to Kolby Kaas. Public meetings about the Onsbjerg proposal generated an appreciable degree of interest and encouraged the group to carry on.

The local entrepreneur company Kremmer Jensen offered to build and run the heating plant, and was then invited to cooperate with the citizens and Samsø Energy Company to establish the plant.

The district heating plant was organized like the others on the island – the symbolic price of 100 crowns to join from the start. The price to connect later is more expensive, about 45,000 crowns ($9,000 US).

Fact sheet:

  • Consumers:   76
  • Output:    0,8 MW
  • Straw consumption:  600 600 tons annually
  • Fuels:    Wheat and rye straw
  • Annual subscription:    Dkr 2,600 ($510 US)
  • Annual consumption:   approx. 1500 MWh/yr
  • Established::    2002
  • Construction costs:    approx. Dkr. 8.2 million ($1.6 million US)
  • Price per MWh   kr. Dkr. 665 ($133 US)
  • New consumer fee:    approx. Dkr. 45,000 ($9,000 US)

3 Wind turbines near the village Tanderup

– One co-op windmill and two privately owned

Three wind turbines rated at 1 MW each were erected in the year 2000 close to the Samsø village called Tanderup. Two of the turbines are owned by private investors, while the third is owned by a windmill cooperative. The windmills are the same make as the other wind turbines on the island, 1 MW Bonus wind turbines (Bonus has since been purchased by Siemens).

The local windmill cooperative owns one wind turbine in Tanderup and one of the Permelille windmills. The two cooperatively owned windmills are divided into about 5.400 shares, owned by about 450 different people.

Each wind turbine produces the equivalent of 630 homes’ annual electricity consumption.

Fact sheet:

  • Total price for 3 windmills:   approx. Dkr 18 Million ($3.6 million US)
  • Total annual production:    approx. 7,600 MWh
  • Height (to the nacelle):   50 meter.
  • Height (to wing tip):   77 meter.
  • State guaranteed min. price the first 12.000 full load hours (ca. 5 years): 60 øre/kWh (12 cents US)
  • State guaranteed min. price the first 10 years:   43 øre/kWh (8,6 cents US)

3 Wind turbines near the village Permelille

– One co-op windmill and two privately owned

Three wind turbines rated at 1 MW each were erected in the year 2000 close to the Samsø village called Permelille. Two of the turbines are owned by private investors, while the third is owned by a windmill cooperative. The windmills are the same make as the other wind turbines on the island, 1 MW Bonus wind turbines (Bonus has since been purchased by Siemens).

The local windmill cooperative owns the wind turbine in Tanderup and one of the Permelille windmills. The two cooperatively owned windmills are divided into about 5.400 shares, owned by about 450 different people.

Each wind turbine produces the equivalent of 630 homes’ annual electricity consumption.

Fact sheet:

  • Total price for 3 windmills:   approx. Dkr 18 Million ($3.6 million US)
  • Total annual production:    approx. 7,600 MWh
  • Height (to the nacelle):   50 meter.
  • Height (to wing tip):   77 meter.
  • State guaranteed min. price the first 12.000 full load hours (ca. 5 years): 60 øre/kWh (12 cents US)
  • State guaranteed min. price the first 10 years:   43 øre/kWh (8,6 cents US)

10 off-shore wind turbines situated south of Samsø Island

– large offshore wind turbines

Transportation energy supply is still difficult to convert to renewable energy. Technologies like hydrogen and electric cars are more expensive and less efficient than gasoline or diesel fuelled vehicles. Ethanol and other ‘green’ fuels are making inroads, and we are experimenting with both canola seed oil and hydrogen production on the island. But until transport can be converted on a large scale to renewable energy, Samsø has chosen to compensate for the energy consumption in the transport sector by erecting ten large offshore wind turbines 3-4 kilometres south of the island.

The offshore windmills send more clean, CO2 free electricity to the mainland than the entire island energy consumption in the transport sector – including the fuel consumption of our three ferries.

Fact sheet:

  • Annual production:   77,500 MWh (280 TJ)
  • Height to nacelle :  63 meter.
  • Height to wing tip:  103 meter.

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