EUROCITIES on COP 21: District heating and cooling in Helsinki

  • environment

The Helen-IT project recovers heat produced at data centres for use in the district heating network.

Helsinki launched its Helen-IT project over a decade ago, to provide cooling to data centres and use the waste heat in its district heating network.

Despite the city’s Nordic climate, the demand for cooling has grown rapidly since the project’s launch. By 2010, some 250 large buildings in the city were using the system, most of them private companies. The system allows computer equipment to be cooled and feeds the waste heat from the process back into the district heating system, which supplies local homes and businesses.

The city uses various cooling methods according to the different seasons, including using cold sea water between November and May. As well as saving on CO2 emissions, the system is silent and unobtrusive, and takes up far less space than traditional cooling devices.

Find out more about Helsinki’s district heating and cooling systems in our Covenant of Mayors case study, available here



A successful global climate deal must recognise the role of cities and urban solutions