The Kulosaaren puistotie worksite in Eastern Helsinki is a testing field for emission-free operations: the worksite machinery is fuelled by renewable electricity or diesel and produces significantly less in the way of carbon dioxide and local emissions. In 2020–2021, the street is being reformed as a cycling road where bicycles and cars will move on the same road.
The worksite involves an exceptionally high number of pieces of electric machinery, with four fully electric machines: three wheel loaders and a mini-excavator. The electricity used by the machinery is from renewable sources – a mix of solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. The wheel loaders contain two separate electric motors and can operate for about five hours on one charge. The availability of electric machinery is still limited on the European market.
The worksite machinery using renewable diesel is mainly powered by fuel produced from vegetable and animal fats. The carbon footprint of this HVO diesel can be up to 90 per cent smaller than that of fossil-based diesel.
The procedures and reporting of the emission-free worksite have been developed together with the contractor. Every month, the contractor will report to the client regarding the machinery and equipment used and the consumption of electricity and HVO diesel. Additionally, the contractor will report the machinery’s operating hours and the worksite’s electricity consumption.
Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035
One of the objectives of the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 plan of the City of Helsinki is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at worksites. Transportation and use of machinery make up 29 per cent of the emissions during construction in Finland. Worksites also produce harmful local emissions and engine noise.
The Kulosaaren puistotie worksite is one of the five pilot sites for low-emission operations. It is also connected to the extensive ‘green deal’ agreement of the public sector. The agreement aims to reduce emissions from worksites and promote sustainable procurements. The idea is to share the lessons learned at the pilot worksites with all new street and infrastructure worksites in Helsinki. The public sector can be a pioneer that creates demand and conditions for developing and expanding the market for low-emission solutions.
Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki Anni Sinnemäki visited the worksite on 8 September 2020.