Wärtsilä selected to deliver a 163 MWe gas power plant to Pacific Gas and Electric Company in Northern California

Wärtsilä Corporation
  • Trade press release
10 April 2006 at 3:00 PM E. Europe Standard Time

Houston – Wärtsilä Corporation, a leading global provider of power plants for decentralized power generation, was selected to deliver a 163 MWe gas-fired power plant to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest gas and electric utilities in the United States. 

The plant will be located in Humboldt Bay near Eureka in northern California and is expected to enter commercial operation by mid-2009.  PG&E selected Wärtsilä’s technology in order to repower their existing Humboldt Bay plant. The new facility will be 35% more efficient with 90% fewer air emissions. The agreement is subject to the approval of the California Public Utility Commission and environmental permits issued by the California Energy Commission.

“This project marks a significant entry for Wärtsilä in California.  Wärtsilä gas engine technology is an outstanding choice for the utility’s energy shaping requirements, as well as for the state of California ’s increasing environmental concerns. Our technology offers high simple cycle efficiency on full and part load as well as other ancillary service benefits that make the Wärtsilä solution a natural choice for this operation,” says Mr. Frank Donnelly, Vice President, Power Plants, Wärtsilä North America.

For the Humboldt Bay power plant, Wärtsilä will deliver 10 Wärtsilä 18V50DF lean-burn dual-fuel engines on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. The engines will be fuelled by natural gas, and will be capable of using fuel oil as back-up during times of natural gas curtailment. The 163 MW plant will produce reliable electricity for the local grid in California ’s north coast. The plant will produce enough electricity to serve roughly 125,000 California homes. 

Wärtsilä’s dual fuel engine technology – a competitive and popular alternative to gas turbines

The Wärtsilä 50DF lean-burn dual-fuel engine is the most powerful gas-burning engine on the market today and its design incorporates both low emissions and high fuel efficiency, making it a competitive alternative to gas turbines. It has become a popular engine for power plant installations in countries all over the world. It is available with up to 18 cylinders giving up to 16.64 MWe in continuous base-load operation. The 50DF features a 7981kJ/kWh heat rate which is equivalent to an overall thermal efficiency of 45% at the busbars.

In the event of loss of gas pressure, the engines switch over to the back-up fuel oil. The engines are fully capable of automatically changing from gas to back-up liquid fuel instantly if the gas supply is interrupted while continuing to deliver full power. When the gas supply is restored, it is then possible to immediately switch back to gas mode.

About Wärtsilä Corporation:

Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 12,000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä offices in over 60 countries around the world.

About Pacific Gas and Electric Company:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company incorporated in California in 1905, is one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, the company is a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG - News). Pacific Gas and Electric Company's primary business is the transmission and delivery of energy. The company provides natural gas and electric service to approximately 15 million people throughout a 70,000- square-mile service area in northern and central California. The service area stretches from Eureka in the north to Bakersfield in the south, and from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Sierra Nevada in the east.

www.pge.com

For further information, please contact:

Maria Nystrand
Public Relations Manager, Power Plants Wärtsilä
Direct tel:  +358 10 709 1456
Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425
e-mail: maria.nystrand@wartsila.com
Internet: www.wartsila.com