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Alpua Village School

Alpua, Finland
Field: Communities

Case

Alpua Village School, Alpua, Finland

Challenge

High energy consumption of an old school building

Solution

Volter 40 Outdoor

Benefits

Empowering local community

Alpua is a vibrant village in Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland. The village has been awarded twice for inspiring other small villages with long-term development projects, community service, good village spirit and open-mindedness.

Empowering the local village community with the help of Volter 40 CHP

The year 2011 was a turning point in the history of the small village of Alpua when the city council decided to shut down the village school. The decision could have been a massive setback for the villagers, but they didn’t numb; they founded a village development association and bought the village school with an idea of turning it into a village activity centre.

Since the heating expenses of the school buildings were quite massive, the new owners had to find a solution to cut energy costs. To keep the money in the community, they decided to invest in Volter 40 Combined Heat and Power plant to produce energy; the wood for the woodchip fuel is harvested from local forests and processed by local entrepreneurs, which supports the local economy.

After taking things into their own hands, the villagers curbed migration loss and turned situation positive for the community. Alpua got the boost they needed; there are now clubs, flea market, canteen, gym and many other leisure activities, day care for children and services for elderly operating in the old school premises.

"Alpua was granted the Village of the Year award in 2015 and Volter’s CHP installation was the major factor in achieving it. It has also brought an enormous number of visitors to the village and most of them from foreign countries, which enlivens Alpua and also brings income to the village. The CHP sparks interest especially among the older generation, to whom the wood gasifier is familiar from their youth. We also were involved in developing the CHP, and our ideas were always welcome. Volter has great, young designers, who have no barriers to slow down the development."

Esko, Alpua Development Association

Getting income by selling excess electricity to the grid

Besides generating enough electricity for own needs, quite a remarkable part of the electricity is sold to the national grid. The community members are also pleased with the automation of Volter’s CHP, which means that controlling the system is quite effortless. Also, an independent energy production secures the village in case of a power outage caused by storms.

The local media have also noted the inspiring story of Alpua. Read the story in English: “Creative madness saved the village of Alpua from depopulation – no one is left alone“.

Volter 40 Outdoor

Solution: Volter 40 Outdoor

Fuel: Woodchip Electric power: 40 kW Heating power: 100 + 20 kW

Volter 40 Outdoor combined Heat and Power plant (CHP) is designed for outdoor or temporary installation. The CHP is built into a standard 40' HC DD sea container and is delivered factory tested, ready for shipping as a standard sea freight container.

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