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Industrial buildings next to the river at Vigelands Brug

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Pioneering smarter energy use at Hydro Vigelands Brug

Hydro Vigelands Brug has entered into an innovative partnership with Hydro Rein in order to ramp up energy efficiency measures at the aluminium refinery in Vennesla. As the oldest aluminium plant still in operation in Norway, Hydro Vigelands Brug demonstrates that every step matters on the path to zero.

Hydro has ambitious plans to reduce its own emissions 30 percent by 2030 and become a net-zero company by 2050. There are multiple projects ongoing at Hydro locations to switch to renewable energy sources.  

However, reaching net-zero is not just about replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. Since Hydro’s primary aluminium production capacity in Norway is already powered entirely by renewables, reaching net-zero also means driving energy usage down by striving for efficiencies, new technologies and solutions to help optimize industrial development. According to the International Energy Agency (IAE), one third of climate gas reductions must be enabled through energy efficiency measures. These measures can ensure precious renewable energy is used in the best way possible.

Optimizing energy use enables lower cost and reduced maintenance  

The Vigeland Energy Partnership Project includes the installation of compressed air sensors to manage and improve energy efficiency and to avoid leaks, and the installation of a smart LED lighting system. Not only will the new LED system reduce energy consumption, but it will offer superior lighting quality that benefits both the work environment and safety. This will effectively bring the lighting system in line with the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and Eco design Directive.  

The ambition for the first phase of the project is a 2 GWh yearly reduction in auxiliary power consumption. Switching to LED will comprise an estimated 60-70 percent of the energy savings, with the rest coming from smart operations. 

Smarter digital energy operations will be enabled by Rein Hub, Hydro Rein’s centralized hub for industrial customers. It brings together a range of visualization and energy optimization tools for industrial players in a single, easy to use digital platform. 

 “Hydro Vigelands Brug is very excited to partner up with Hydro Rein for this energy efficiency partnership. The global demand for our high purity aluminium products is increasing, and our customers also expect and demand to see concrete efforts on sustainability measures. I believe it is more important than ever that we join forces across the company in order to understand, optimize and reduce our energy usage,” says Ole Harald Mykland, Plant Manager at Hydro Vigelands Brug. 

The next phase of the project is to install the necessary equipment and implement measures. The services are estimated to start towards the end of first quarter 2023. The energy efficiency measures are not related to the electrolysis process in the plant. 

From sawmill to high purity aluminium for the most advanced electronic devices  

Originally established in 1620 as a sawmill, production of electrical power at Vigeland was commissioned in 1907. Aluminium production started in 1908, making it the longest running aluminium plant still in operation in Norway. 

Today, Vigelands Brug is part of Hydro Aluminium specialty products with 37 employees producing high purity aluminium, mainly for the electronics industry. Contrary to the other smelters in Norway, the plant produces highly refined aluminium with 99.999 percent purity, for use in flat panel displays, monitors, computers, mobile phones, tablets and much more. 

Industrial buildings and water basin at Vigelands Brug
Aerial view of Vigelands Brug.


Significant potential in helping industrial clients with energy consumption  

Hydro Rein was established in 2021, as part of Hydro’s strategy to grow in renewables. The company aims at becoming the preferred supplier of renewable power and other energy solutions for industrial clients. Hydro Rein currently has 20 renewable projects in their global portfolio.   

Hydro Rein is working to develop a range of energy solutions to assist industries with the management and optimization of its energy consumption, and storage behind the meter. These solutions include storage systems like batteries, energy efficiency and digital hubs, as well as onsite electricity generation.  

Hydro Vigelands Brug is a visionary partner on the journey to using energy in smarter ways, and I believe partnerships like these across Hydro can provide a unique platform for learning and scaling up energy solutions in the future. We need a mix of all energy solutions in order to drive the green transition,, says Marianne Wergeland Jenssen, Head of Energy Solutions in Hydro Rein.  

The energy efficiency measures at Hydro Vigelands Brug are also relevant for other industrial clients, both within Hydro and outside the company.

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