Gas Engine Peaking Power Plant for USA

Wartsila Corporation
  • Trade press release
25 July 2002 at 3:01 AM E. Europe Standard Time

Wärtsilä Corporation Trade &Technical Press 25 July, 2002

To increase the reliability of power supply to its customers in Raton, New Mexico, USA,  Arkansas River Power Authority (ARPA) has contracted with Wärtsilä for the purchase of a 7 MWe gas-fired peaking power plant. The plant will be used for intermediate peaking and back-up for a 7.5 MWe coal-fired power plant.

The pre-engineered and pre-packaged power plant will feature the Wärtsilä 20V34SG gas engine. This engine is similar to Wärtsilä’s successful 18V34SG with the addition of two cylinders. The plant will operate for, up to, 5000 hours per year, the installation will be completed during the first quarter of 2003.

“This contract solidifies the continued growth of our power plants for peaking power use. The Raton plant will enable ARPA to overcome critical issues such as; output, emissions, and continued peak performance,” said Frank Donnelly, Vice President of power plants for Wärtsilä in North America. “We were awarded the contract due to our faster implementation time, the plant’s lower operating costs and increased control, especially when demand for electricity is at its highest.”

The contract was won in the face of tough domestic and international competition. Both gas turbine and gas engine power plants were considered. In the end the Wärtsilä gas engine solution won due to Wärtsilä’s expertise and experience of supplying reliable power at high altitudes.

The Raton plant will be operating at 6,700 FASL (feet above sea level). ARPA considered that the Wärtsilä technology’s ability to maintain ISO heat rate and output at this elevation as extremely significant.

Wärtsilä has won orders, from across the United States, for more than 250 MWe for peak shaving plants to be used for power supply when demand is at its highest.

These innovative power plants are the first reciprocating engine plants to be tailored to the needs of the larger gas-fired peaking market.  These pre-packaged power plants were developed to address the unique peak and intermediate energy requirements of North America.

When compared to the traditional technology used in similar U.S. power plants, Wärtsilä’s plants offer faster delivery times, lower emissions, lower operating costs, no continuous water requirements, an approximate 23 percent increase in efficiency and a scalable design that more closely matches customer’s needs.
Notes to Editor

Arknsas River Power Authority
The Arkansas River Power Authority (ARPA) was established in 1979 as a joint action agency and political subdivision of the State of Colorado.  Headquartered in Lamar, Colorado, ARPA serves its municipal member systems of Holly, La Junta, Lamar, Las Animas, Springfield and Trinidad, Colorado, and Raton, New Mexico. 

Wärtsilä Corporation
Wärtsilä Corporation is the leading global ship power supplier and a major provider of solutions for decentralised power generation and of supporting services.

The company delivers power plant solutions from 1 MW to 300 MW. These power plants are used for base load, intermediate peak load, combined heat and power (CHP), gas compression and pumping applications.

The range covers gas and oil fired power plants as well as patented combustion technology for renewable energy or even emulsified fuels, all backed up with a complete range of services – from start-up finance to full plant operation.

Wärtsilä has supplied more than 1,400 MW of power to plants around the world in 2001, of which over 400 MW were gas-fired power plants. The worldwide power plant base delivered by Wärtsilä is currently more than 32,000 MW.

Wärtsilä is headquartered in Helsinki with representatives in more than 60 countries.
Wärtsilä’s network company in North America is headquartered in Annapolis, MD. For more information on Wärtsilä, visit the corporate Web site at

For further information please contact:

Wärtsilä Corporation
Maria Hällund
Tel: +358 10 709 1946
Fax: +358 10 709 1942


Pilot Communications, UK
John Goss
Tel: +44 208 948 8485
Fax: +44 208 948 8563