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Elo Shopping Centre. Credit: Sponda Plc

Elo Shopping Centre to get Finland’s first roof mounted solar power plant over 1 MW

Elo Shopping Centre to get Finland’s first roof mounted solar power plant over 1 MW

Finland’s first roof mounted solar power plant with capacity exceeding 1 megawatt is currently being built on the roof of Sponda’s Elo Shopping Centre in Ylöjärvi. The project will be completed in November 2019. Helen Ltd is responsible for the construction of the power plant.

In total, 3,186 solar panels will be installed on the shopping centre roof. The installation area is approximately 12,000 square metres, which amounts to approximately 40% of the total roof area. The solar power plant will allow Elo Shopping Centre to reduce its annual carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 112,000 kg. This translates into approximately 27% of Elo’s total electricity consumption being covered by solar power.

A solar power plant is seen the most sustainable method of generating electricity

Sponda’s sustainability strategy includes a commitment to increasing energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy in its overall energy consumption. In the company’s spring stakeholder survey, Sponda’s customers and other stakeholders identified climate goals and the fight against climate change as very important targets.

“We take environmental responsibility into account in all of our work and operations. Sponda was ranked this year best in Europe among the real estate companies in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) assessment. This international recognition is a sign we are doing the right things. Municipalities and cities, such as Ylöjärvi, have their own climate goals, and we want to promote their achievement,” said Pirkko Airaksinen, Sustainability Manager at Sponda.

The City of Ylöjärvi has been involved in the creation of a new climate strategy in which the Tampere urban region, including Ylöjärvi, is trying to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. The construction of a solar power plant at Elo is an excellent contribution to the achievement of this goal.

“The power plant will make Elo Shopping Centre a solar power pioneer in the Pirkanmaa region. It will also help us reduce property maintenance costs,” commented Timo Matinlompolo, Elo’s Shopping Centre Manager.

“The solar power plant will cover approximately one fourth of Elo’s total electricity consumption. This figure demonstrates the enormous potential of solar energy in Finland. In fact, solar energy is not only good from the point of view of sustainability but it’s also often a financially sensible option, which was the case with Elo,” said Riku Kuikka, Helen’s Product Group Manager.

According to the consumer sustainability survey conducted by Norstat Finland in the autumn 2018, a solar power plant is seen as the most sustainable method of generating electricity. More than 56% of survey respondents mentioned solar power as the most sustainable method of electricity generation, followed by wind power, which was mentioned by approximately 17% of respondents.