AGL is Australia’s largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and the country’s biggest developer of the firming capacity needed to support renewables. Barker Inlet Power Station (BIPS) will play an important role in the utility’s portfolio, as the plant’s main task will be to ensure reliability in the renewable-heavy South Australian power system and to balance the stochastic production of the renewables. The Wärtsilä engine generating sets can reach full output in a matter of minutes, providing the fast-start capability needed to rapidly respond to the fluctuations inherent to solar and wind power.
Being fuel-efficient, the reciprocating engines at BIPS are both cost-saving and environmentally sound: the new power plant requires 28% less fuel than its predecessor turbine plant and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 35-50%. The engines have low sensitivity to ambient temperature and can produce full power, even at 40 degrees Celsius. The engines’ negligible water consumption and their low fuel gas pressure create further operational cost savings.