Solar panels on the roof of art museum Ateneum. In the background you can see the center of Helsinki.
During November, 90 solar panels will be installed on the roof of the Ateneum Art Museum.

Ateneum starts to use solar energy

The Finnish National Gallery and Senate Properties aim at carbon neutrality by 2035

During November, 90 solar panels will be installed on the roof of the Ateneum Art Museum.The annual production of the panels is estimated at 30,000 kWh, which is equal to the annual consumption of about 15 one-bedroom flats. With the new solar panels, the Ateneum will be able to considerably reduce the amount of energy it purchases.

The solar panels are part of the solar energy programme of Senate Properties, the company responsible for the management of state-owned properties. The property group has currently more than 60 solar power units at office buildings, court houses, police stations, archives, schools, art museums and the National Opera.

“The Finnish National Gallery wants to be more engaged, more digital and more ecological by 2027. Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2035. The solar panels are a perfect fit for our Green Handprint environmental programme,” says our Director Marja Sakari.

Inconspicuous solar panels

Senate Properties launched its solar energy programme at State properties in 2019. Today, solar power units can be found at several State properties of very different type and age.

“Solar panels are compatible with all types of buildings, including those of historical value. For example, the panels on the roof of the Ateneum will not be visible from the street and their installation was carefully planned with the Finnish Heritage Agency and the City of Helsinki Building Control Services,” says Tero Hallasaari, the building services specialist leading the Senate Properties’ solar energy programme.

The cost of installing and commissioning a solar energy system does not affect the tenants’ rent. The cost of the investment is covered by Senate Properties as the owner of the property, and the company has estimated that the payback period for the investment of EUR 42,000 will be about ten years.

Senate Properties aims at carbon neutral properties by 2035

Nearly 80% of the total energy consumption at properties operated by Senate Properties is covered by renewable sources. Senate Properties has made significant investments to shift to renewable energy, and for example the electricity purchased for State properties has for several years been 100% from renewable sources. The goal of Senate Properties is to reach carbon neutrality at all State properties by 2035. One way to achieve this goal is to harness solar energy.

Senate Properties is currently investing close to one million euros per year on solar energy systems. Solar power units are installed in new buildings as well as the existing building stock, often in connection with renovation.

More information:
Ateneum´s Head of Communication Johanna Savolainen,