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USES4HEAT – Underground Large Scale Seasonal Energy Storage for Decarbonized and Reliable Heat

USES4HEAT aims to demonstrate innovative, large scale, seasonal thermal energy storage (TES) solutions enabling a future decarbonized and reliable heating supply. USES4HEAT demonstrates, at TRL8 and for a one year test campaign, two innovative, cost-effective, large scale, seasonal underground TES (UTES) units (specifically, aquifer TES, ATES, and high temperature borehole TES, BTES) to maximize the availability and resilience of heating supply whilst reducing energy losses and environmental impact. USES4HEAT seeks to demonstrate the TES units as fully integrated units in commercial large-scale district heating networks (DHN) as well as integrating industrial waste heat recovery and fulfilling industrial thermal demand. In doing so, USES4HEAT also demonstrates six innovative key enabling components/technologies and their integration with seasonal TES: advanced ATES drilling equipment and remotely controlled machines halving drilling times, innovative layered BTES collectors plastic piping materials ensuring elevated performance at high temperature (95°C), innovative groundwater heat pump at high temperature using low global warming potential fluids, enhanced hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) solar panels integrated with UTES boosting sector coupling, concentrated solar thermal collectors fully integrated with large-scale seasonal UTES maximizing the exploitation of solar availability and diversifying the thermal energy sources, AI, big-data analytics and cloud based intelligent predictive energy management software and predictive operation and maintenance (O&M) tools for optimized integrated system operation.


The heating sector is not on track toward achieving the IEA Net Zero Emission scenario’s targets, heat demand below 150°C represent more than a third of the overall EU energy demand and it mainly relies on fossil fuels. Possible solutions include an efficient integration of local renewable energy sources, the use of various forms of excess and waste heat sources, district heating) integration also providing additional flexibility on the power sector. However, the integration of large-scale, seasonal TES solutions is crucial and part of the strategic agenda and a key cross-cutting technology for modern fully decarbonized heating system. One of the major challenges for future energy systems, and particularly for the heating sector largely affected by seasonality, is to overcome the mismatch between supply and demand. The deployment of large-scale TES can facilitate the interlinking between the electricity and the heating sectors, enabling a larger penetration of intermitted RES both at the power and heat generation side and optimized management of more traditional plants like cogeneration units. These new operational constrains in future energy systems also require the development of advanced, intelligent energy management tools to ensure an optimized and smart systemic energy approach, control and operation.

USES4HEAT will prove and demonstrate, at TRL 8, the effectiveness and techno-economic-social viability of innovative, large-scale, seasonal UTES ensuring limited CAPEX, reduced environmental impact and energy losses, and able to be efficiently integrated in DHN, accumulating various sources of heat, and granting reliable and decarbonized heating supply. AI based solutions will optimize the overall system integration ensuring optimal energy management and more reliable future heating systems.

Aim and Objectives

The main goals and objective of USES4HEAT is to demonstrate innovative, large scale, seasonal thermal energy storage solutions enabling a future decarbonized and reliable heating supply. To achieve that the project will:

  • Develop and demonstrate at TRL 8 two innovative large-scale cost-effective seasonal TES technologies (ATES and BTES) for decarbonised heating supply.
  • Develop and demonstrate at TRL 8 key enabling technologies for decarbonisation, increased flexibility, availability and robustness of the heating sector and integration with seasonal TES.
  • Develop and demonstrate at TRL 8 intelligent energy management systems, based on AI and big-data analytics, and predictive O&M.
  • Assess the performance and sustainability of USES4HEAT from a holistic and systematic perspective accounting for circular economy, social, economic, financial and environmental aspects.

Project partners

Listed one in a row.

  1. Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan
  2. Svenska Miljöinstitutet AB
  3. Università degli Studi di Genova
  4. Fundación CARTIF
  5. Fondazione Bruno Kessler
  6. Chalmers University of Technology
  7. Haflsund Oslo Celsio
  8. Hallingplast AS
  9. Bengt Dahlgren Stockholm Geo AB
  10. Absolicon Solar Collector AB
  11. Cartiere del Garda S.p.A
  12. Alto Garda Servizi S.p.A.
  13. Alto Garda Power S.r.l
  14. HiRef S.p.A.
  15. Energenius S.r.l.
  16. HYDRA S.r.l.
  17. Endef Engineering
  18. Euroheat & Power AISBL
  19. Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar
  22. AquaTonic Ltd.
  26. Kvarnholmen Utveckling AB
  27. Veolia

Funding is provided by Horizon Europe (CINEA) - Grant Agreement No 101136136.

Timeframe: December 2023 – November 2027


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ADA – Aggressive Duct Aerodynamics
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