Sirkkala Energy Park is a learning and research environment for bioeconomy.
Sirkkala Energy Park as a research, demonstration and educational platform promotes both national and regional development goals to increase the knowhow, production and use of renewable energy. Energy Park collaborates with enterprises and increases knowledge on energy solutions with joint RD&I work. Sirkkala Energy Park improves stakeholders’ ability to adapt to changes in construction and energy system regulations. Sirkkala Energy Park produces actual cost structures of renewable energy production and maintenance, as well as creates synergies between enterprises, education and research.
Sirkkala Energy Park is owned by Karelia University of Applied Sciences and is an integral part of the Joensuu bioeconomy cluster, including Joensuu Science Park, University of Eastern Finland, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), European Forest Institute, North Karelia Municipal Education and Training Consortium RIVERIA.
Sirkkala Energy Park is a real-life R&D environment at Karelia UAS. It is located near the campus area and offers an easily-accessible learning and benchmarking environment for students and visitors. Sirkkala Energy Park provides a large set of technical solutions for testing and development, such as:
• Mobile Volter CHP unit with real-time monitoring
• Combined wood log/pellet boiler
• Nano CHP pellet boiler system
• Large collection of solar collectors and panels
• Wood fuel dryer
• A wide variety of laboratory equipment and analysers
Energy Park was created through three ERDF co-funded projects, that included two investment projects and one development project. Funded project period was 2015-2017.
Evidence of success
The mobile Volter CHP has been the landmark of the Energy Park since its arrival. The unit has travelled several occasions and the innovative solution has attracted thousands of people. The Park has had both national and international visiting groups almost weekly. It has also been an interesting and practical training location for hundreds of students from Karelia UAS.
The cooperation with energy related SME´s is still growing and has its focus in technical testing and biofuel analysis.
There is a large collection of different renewable energy techniques assembled in the Park. One of the biggest challenges has been the synchronization of different solutions in the most effective way.
Potential for learning or transfer
Forest bioeconomy is the smart specialisation choice of North Karelia. Learning, testing and piloting environment in Sirkkala Energy Park provides added value to the development of bioeconomy field, as it enables local actors to test and develop e.g. hybrid energy systems for large buildings, delivering valuable information on the functionality and efficiency of the equipment.
Sirkkala Energy Park forms a nationally unique multipurpose platform for research, piloting, demonstration and learning of the hybrid energy system and other bioeconomy related issues. The platform gathers together enterprises (especially SMEs), students and education and research organisations. Sirkkala Energy Park provides an environment to demonstrate the self-sufficient production of heat and power by biomass and solar power and it is suitable for rapid practical testing of innovations and renewable energy business development.