The combined heat and power station in Vasteras, northwest of Stockholm, is converting from oil- and coal-fired generation to become a fossil fuel-free facility by 2020. That means burning recycled wood and waste, including clothes H&M can’t sell.
The Vasteras plant burned about 15 tons of discarded clothes from H&M so far in 2017, compared with about 400,000 tons of rubbish.
The facility, which supplies power to about 150,000 households, burned as much as 650,000 tons of coal at its peak in 1996. The last coal ship docked in Vasteras to supply the plant’s two remaining fossil-fuel generators from the 1960s with enough supplies to last until 2020. That’s when a new wood-fired boiler will be added to supplement the facility’s existing biofuel and trash burning unit.
While Sweden prides itself on an almost entirely emission free-power system thanks to its hydro, nuclear and wind plants, some local municipalities still use coal and oil to heat homes and offices during cold winter days. By converting old plants to burn biofuels and garbage, the biggest Nordic economy is hoping to edge out the last of its fossil fuel units by the end of this decade.