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How Cold Seawater Can Heat Helsinki’s Homes

To transition from fossil fuels, the Finnish capital is looking to tap into a very abundant resource: icy water from deep in the Baltic Sea.

In Helsinki, a site currently being used for a coal-fired power plant will soon be home to a facility that can extract energy from seawater. 

In Helsinki, a site currently being used for a coal-fired power plant will soon be home to a facility that can extract energy from seawater. 

Source: Helen Oy

Helsinki is tapping an unexpected source of energy to heat its homes: cold water extracted from deep in the Baltic Sea.

The Finnish capital is joining Europe’s rush to find new sources of energy and reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels with a new, carbon-neutral heating system. The city’s power company, Helen Oy, will partner with Spanish builder Acciona SA and local infrastructure company YIT Oyj to construct a tunnel for extracting water deep from the seabed, where it stays at a constant temperature. By processing the water through underground heat pumps, the system could generate enough heat to serve as much as 40% of the Finnish capital.