The energy company Valkeakosken Energia, owned by the City of Valkeakoski in southern Finland, provides its citizens with electricity, district heating and natural gas. When the electricity market was deregulated, Valkeakosken Energia decided to be a proactive participant in the market by investing in its own combined heat and power production to ensure competitive electricity and district heating prices for their customers.
After extensive feasibility calculations, Valkeakosken Energia decided to extend their existing boiler house with a Wärtsilä CHP Plant. Their decision to self-generate is indicative of the direction in which post-deregulation energy markets are heading.
The Wärtsilä CHP plant, consisting of two Wärtsilä 18V34SG engines, is now the largest power plant powered by gas engines in Finland. It has a 12 MWe capacity and produces about 60,000 MWhe of electrical energy per year. In practical terms, this provides enough electricity to heat about 3000 private houses. The plant also generates 13 MWth of heat, all of which is used in the City’s district heating network.
Wärtsilä constructed the plant on a turnkey basis, providing engineering, procurement and construction services. The plant is unmanned and remote-controlled, and its operating parameters can be monitored from Wärtsilä’s office in Vaasa, Finland.