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District energy

District heating

Effectively increasing renewable energy yields

6. November 2023

Solution provider

EMD International
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The district heating system situated in Hvide Sande, in the western part of Denmark, encompasses a variety of power generation and consumption units. It comprises a  pair of heat storage tanks, a solar thermal plant spanning 9,576 m2, and three 3MW wind turbines (WTGs). These WTG’s electrical output serve the dual purpose of both powering a 4,65 MW electric heat pump, as well as the 10 MW electric boiler used to produce heat. Furthermore, when electricity prices are high, the surplus electricity is vendored, and supplementary electricity can be generated by two natural gas-fired CHP units.

This assortment of power generation units allows for a cost-effective production of renewable district heating solutions. However, orchestrating the day-to-day operations of the plant, and managing electricity procurement of the energy quantities remains a demanding task. The central intelligent control system must constantly make decisions about, which units to activate, and whether to engage in electricity purchases or sales across different electricity markets. The fluctuating and nonplannable renewable energy yield from the thermal solar installation and the wind turbines must also be factored into these decisions.


EMD has successfully installed and implemented the energyTRADE software solution at the district heating plant in Hvide Sande. This innovative system continuously calculates the most optimal operation approach of the plant in real time.

Through a singular interface, the plant manager is provided with a detailed overview of the optimal operational approach and production schedule for the upcoming week. This comprehensive overview encompasses forecasts for renewable energy generation, the anticipated charging and discharging cycles of heat storage tanks, and whether the generated electricity will be converted into heat or sold off. The automated compilation of weather predictions and price projections of electricity, followed by their integration into an intricate plant model using Mixed-Integer Linear Programming (MILP), culminates in the attainment of an optimal production plan. In cases where the ideal plan entails vendoring electricity, the software additionally determines the appropriate bids for electricity markets, enabling direct submissions.


The energyTRADE solution provided by EMD equips Hvide Sande District Heating with a swift overview and direct access to the most efficient operational schedule of the entire plant. This results in labour hour savings and more cost-effective heat production. Additionally, the solution assists in integrating fluctuating renewable energy production by scheduling the charging and discharging of storage accordingly, which is essential, as Hvide Sande District Heating e.g., produced 92,4 percent of the heat using renewable energy sources.