Finland's first renewable energy public swimming complex

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award


The first public swimming pool in Finland to utilise solar power gives an extra boost to the forward-looking energy region of Satakunta. At the 450th Jubilee meeting of Pori City Council on 8 March 2008, the decision was taken to build a new swimming pool complex in Pori, Finland, utilising solar energy.

As a brand-new energy solution for public facilities, the design includes solar-powered panels to produce electricity for the complex and solar collectors to heat the pool water. With this project, Pori will become a trailblazer, since this solar solution will be the country’s first solar energy investment in a swimming pool complex, and as such constitutes a major environmental action. Solar heat collectors will generate 120,000 kwh of energy for the complex, corresponding to the annual heating costs of six average detached houses and covering 5% of the annual heat requirements of the swimming pool complex. The solar panels will produce approximately 45,000 kwh or 3% of the electricity consumed by the building. In any case, the swimming pool complex is designed to be ‘energy-stingy’ and includes heat recovery from exhaust air and shower water, and other energy-saving solutions. The building’s façade will be clad with copper. Heat collectors will be mounted on the wall behind the copper panels. The wall collectors represent a whole new technology which will be introduced for the very first time, even on an international level.

What makes this swimming hall stand apart is this new technology combined with the more traditional solar heat and solar electricity. All three energy systems have been designed specifically to work seamlessly in connection with the swimming hall’s other energy systems. According to estimates, more than 95% of all the energy required goes on heating the water in the full-size pool. At Pori’s latitude of 61°29’N, in practice, solar energy can be taken advantage of from mid-February until the end of October. Only in midwinter is the sun too low in the horizon to be of use for the building’s energy-production purposes. During that time the swimming hall’s basic scheme, which relies on the district heating system, will provide all the required heat and electricity.

The opening of Pori’s new swimming hall is scheduled to take place in September 2011. The project will facilitate the creation of new jobs in the solar energy business in the region. Experts in the field will be employed directly by the industry, but additional employment will also be generated via new technical products and services. Currently, the solar energy business employs almost 100 people in the Pori district. The solar energy project involves the City of Pori, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and Luvata. The project will go ahead as soon as the energy investment subsidy from the Finnish State is confirmed. The swimming hall, with a 50 metre pool, is expected to attract around 380,000 visits per year.

Award info
Award category: going green
Award type: submission
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Environment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fishery
Type of activity:
Keywords: Solar energy, energy efficiency, swimming complex
Short English description: The project will facilitate the creation of new jobs in the solar energy business in the region.
Further information
Organisation: City of Pori
Other applicants:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Finland
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:

Finland's first renewable energy public swimming complex (61.4882738, 21.7948117)
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