At the heart of Kongsberg Technology Park, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) has taken a groundbreaking step towards a more sustainable future. At Arsenalet Industrial Park, known for advanced production of defence products and technology, the establishment of Norway's largest renewable energy storage is now a reality.

Several alternative energy sources were considered when expanding "Arsenalet" by 30,000 square meters to ensure increased production capacity in the coming years. The decision was made to utilize energy from geothermal wells – an emission-free, silent and renewable solution.

Today, the technology park is supplied with energy from 178 energy wells, each 300 meters deep, totaling 53 kilometers.

"Sustainability and energy efficiency are always in focus to ensure efficient operation of buildings," says Hans Petter Blokkum, Managing Director of Kongsberg Technology Park. "The energy wells will reduce our carbon footprint and also lead to significant cost savings over time," he says.

Geoenergy can also be referred to as geothermal heat, near-surface heat, thermal energy, or energy wells. Regardless of the name, it involves extracting heat from the ground. The facility at "Arsenalet" can also deposit heat, providing both heating and cooling. The possibilities are numerous; it is emission-free and has minimal environmental impact.

Depending on energy requirements, one or more wells are drilled, typically reaching depths of 150-300 meters. It is important that the energy demand for heating is considered in light of the number of wells, to avoid depleting the ground faster than it naturally replenishes.

A stable, efficient, and sustainable solution

The energy well project became a reality through collaboration between Kongsberg Technology Park (KTP) and Kongsberg Eiendom, which owns and manages 520,000 square meters on behalf of KONGSBERG. The drilling was executed by Båsum Boring, a leading company in the field of energy drilling. The result is an impressive energy center that has been operational since January 1 and now supplies the entire industrial park with stable and environmentally friendly energy.

"The energy wells not only provide a sustainable energy source but also a solution that reduces production costs for district heating and cooling," explains Lorentz Kolstad, who is responsible for operations and maintenance at KTP.

An energy well is a borehole in the ground that utilizes geothermal heat by using a pump for heating. The water in the well acts as the contact medium between the collector pipe and the bedrock. The water-filled part of the well is called an effective well. The temperature in the well is normally the annual average temperature at the site + 7°C.

The wells are used as an energy source for district heating production through heat pumps. Excess heat from district cooling systems is returned, stored in the energy wells, and reused when heat is needed.

"The thermal energy from the wells generates 2.5 MW, which, in context, meets the needs of approximately 800 single-family homes," says Kolstad.

Compared to alternative solutions, the well park will produce less noise, lower water consumption, optimized operation of heat pumps, and most importantly - a low CO2 footprint.

Energy optimization of the building mass has been a focus area for KTP for a long time.

"We purchase the same amount of energy today as we did back in year 2000, but now we cover an additional 200,000 square meters," says Blokkum.

From left to right: Roar Clausen, Project Manager, Frode Engedal, Head of Energy Production at KTP, Lorentz Kolstad, Head of Operations and Maintenance at KTP. The photo was taken by the heat pumps inside the energy center.

Vast potential

The Energy Commission's report from February 2023 was clear that energy must be conserved and used more efficiently, while increasing power production and grid capacity to handle todays and future challenges.

«Geoenergy is an inexhaustible resource,” says Nils Hanstad, department manager at Båsum Boring. "Those of us who work with geoenergy recognize the immense potential right beneath our feet, and we are delighted that a forward-thinking company like KONGSBERG has chosen this efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternative," he says.

Kongsberg Technology Park serves as an active supplier in the transition to a more sustainable society. This is a necessary effort to achieve our science-based climate goals. Experience from the well project at Arsenalet will be important as we continue to grow. These insights will help us identify and implement sustainable energy concepts in future projects as well.

"The investment in this energy solution shows how we at KONGSBERG are committed to managing our environment and surroundings in a sustainable and healthy way. We believe our decision will have a lasting positive impact on our organization, our community, and our planet," says Daliborka Pekic, General Manager of Kongsberg Eiendom.