Benndale, Mississippi, USA
Cooperative Energy + Wärtsilä

Reference case

Sustainable power generation with the optimal balancing solution

Enabling an increase in variable generation with more flexible capacity that can rapidly start up when needed.

Intermittent renewable energy generation in the United States has seen a staggering 700% increase between 2008 and 2019, with solar and wind generation accounting for around 350 million MWh of power generation in 2019. The subsequent increase in variable generation means that flexibility is increasingly important in the energy system.

Cooperative Energy, a not-for-profit electricity cooperative covering 432,000 homes and businesses in the US state of Mississippi, was looking to upgrade one of its plants in order to help it supply affordable, flexible and reliable power. Wärtsilä’s comprehensive solution comprises a plant powered by two gas-fired Wärtsilä 31SG engine generating sets and covered by a 10-year service agreement.

WhoCooperative energy
What22,7 MW peaking gas power plant
WhereMississippi, USA


This is what we achieved


Flexible power generation to integrate high levels of energy from renewable sources.


Homes and businesses powered in Mississippi.

10 years

Optimised maintenance agreement.

I wanted to be satisfied with the technology and the people behind it, so we visited Wärtsilä’s factory and testing facilities and met the engineers. This is not just about a product, but the people. I needed to be comfortable with everyone involved in design, installation and maintenance. I was very impressed.

Jim Compton, President Emeritus of Cooperative Energy

How we did it

Challenge icon


  • Efficient power generation in a market with increasing levels of renewables
  • Mitigate financial and timing risks in construction
  • Resilient and reliable generation in a hurricane-prone region
  • Maintain the plant and its performance over the lifecycle
Solution icon


  • Full EPC delivery
  • Wärtsilä plant integrated with customer’s system
  • A flexible Wärtsilä 31SG gas power plant with the ability to respond rapidly to continuously changing load patterns of systems with renewables
  • 10-year Wärtsilä Optimised maintenance service agreement
Benefit icon


  • Efficient and flexible power supply with a reduced environmental footprint
  • One EPC supplier with full responsibility for both timelines and costs
  • Fast starting; ability to supply power to key facilities such as hospitals during a natural disaster
  • Ensure optimised plant performance and efficiency over the lifecycle

The main details

Customer Cooperative energy
Type Wärtsilä 31SG peaking gas plant
Where Mississippi, USA
Total output 22,7 MW
Fuel Natural gas
Scope EPC with 10-year maintenance services ageement



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Related press releases

Ground-breaking of flexible 90MW Wärtsilä combined heat and power plant for public utility in Dresden

May 7, 2020, 11:00 by Wärtsilä Corporation

A ground-breaking ceremony for the combined heat and power (CHP) plant to be engineered, procured and constructed by Wärtsilä in Dresden-Reick, Germany, took place on 22 April. Commissioned by the local public utility DREWAG to secure reliable energy supply while increasing the share of renewables, the power plant will feature Wärtsilä 31SG gas engines and deliver up to 90 MW of electrical as well as 84 MW of district heating output for the city of Dresden. The award of the contract to Wärtsilä was announced in January 2019

Foundation works are ongoing at the power plant site, and the ground-breaking ceremony signals the beginning of construction works. The ceremony at the site in Dresden-Reick was attended by a limited audience, among them Mayor Dirk Hilbert and DREWAG Managing Director Dr. Frank Brinkmann. Delivery of the eight Wärtsilä 31SG engines will take place in late summer 2020, and the power plant is scheduled to become operational in 2021. Wärtsilä will maintain the plant under a Wärtsilä Guaranteed asset performance solution for ten years, with a five-year extension option. Performance targets are determined based on measured data and Wärtsilä guarantees the targets are met and maintained throughout the duration of the agreement.

With this flexible CHP gas engine plant, DREWAG is investing in the highest level of efficiency and emission control systems to supply safe, clean, and affordable energy, while further committing to a higher share of renewable energy sources. The eight Wärtsilä 31SG engines operating on natural gas, are extremely flexible and have the highest efficiency on the market. In DREWAG’s power plant they are capable of reaching full output from start-up in maximum five minutes and synchronize with the grid in less than 30 seconds to provide immediate balancing of the grid. This means that the system cannot only balance more intermittent renewables like wind and solar to support the power plant owner  in the energy transition towards renewable energy sources. Additionally, the engine technology is also designed to produce minute-to-minute power when it is most valuable and can be sold in the day-ahead, intra-day as well as balancing power markets, and the plant can operate on the secondary balancing market in Germany even from stand still.

"The new CHP plant enables us to provide a concrete response to the energy transition in Dresden. We are focusing on renewable energies as well as on security of supply, because the plant with its high flexibility of use and black start capability does both," said Dr. Frank Brinkmann.

“We are very excited about this major CHP project. It represents an important milestone for us in the German market with our new and extremely flexible Wärtsilä 31SG engines,” says Pekka Tolonen, Director of Energy Business, Europe at Wärtsilä. “It is great that DREWAG has committed to applying the latest flexible power generation technology, which enables the share of renewables to be increased by ensuring that the plant will start very quickly and operate reliably in variable conditions. Over the last two months, because of the COVID-19 impact, the relative share of renewables has increased to unprecedented levels. This imposes a challenge to grid stability and the resilience of different power generation technologies in a very intermittent environment. It has become increasingly evident that future-proof, flexible gas engine technology is the best means to unlock the full potential of renewables, and to support the ambitious energy transition in Germany. We are very proud of the fact that DREWAG has shown its trust in our capabilities as the journey to cleaner, cheaper and more reliable power gains pace."

Image caption texts:
Power plant to be engineered, procured and constructed by Wärtsilä in Dresden-Reick, Germany, will deliver up to 90 MW of electrical and 84 MW of district heating output for the city of Dresden. Image courtesy of DREWAG.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the combined heat and power (CHP) plant to be engineered, procured and constructed by Wärtsilä in Dresden-Reick, Germany, took place on 22 April 2020. Image courtesy of DREWAG.

Earlier published press release: Wärtsilä provides efficient and flexible 90 MW power plant to supply electricity and district heating for Dresden, Germany

Reference case DREWAG - Flexible combined heat and power plant (CHP)

Wärtsilä CHP power plants
Wärtsilä 31 engine family
Wärtsilä lifecycle solutions

For more information, please contact:

Frank Kettig
Business Development Manager
Wärtsilä Energy Business
Mob. +49 1704 124474  

Mirja-Maija Santala
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Wärtsilä Energy Business
Mob: +358 400 793 827

Wärtsilä Energy Business in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers unlock the value of the energy transition by optimising their energy systems and future-proofing their assets. Our offering comprises flexible power plants, energy management systems, and storage, as well as lifecycle services that enable increased efficiency and guaranteed performance. Wärtsilä has 72 GW of installed power plant capacity in 180 countries around the world.   

Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2019, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.2 billion with approximately 19,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.   

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