Chambersburg + Wärtsilä

Reference case

Energy optimisation and lifecycle solutions in Chambersburg

The Borough of Chambersburg (Franklin County) has approximately 21,000 residents and is part of the State of Pennsylvania. Chambersburg is an exceptional municipality in Pennsylvania since they have their own power plant. As a municipal electric utility, the plant is owned and operated by and for the residents of the community. By making and selling power, Chambersburg has lower net energy costs than communities that buy all their power.

Chambersburg updated the automation system of their 23-megawatt power plant consisting of four Wärtsilä 18V32DF dual-fuel engines to achieve better reliability. The upgrade  enables faster ramp-up times and minimizes start failures, which are key features for getting the power plant online quickly. Other benefits are lower NOx-emissions, a slightly improved heat rate and noticeably less cylinder knocking.

WhoThe Borough of Chambersburg
What23 MW Chambersburg peaking power plant
WherePennsylvania, USA
How4X18V32DF  + Wärtsilä UNIC C3


This is what we achieved

23 MW

Of electrical output to support local power grid.

21 K

Households powered in the Borough of Chambersburg.


W18V32DF + UNIC C3 to ensure lower net energy costs.

We sell all power to the local power grid, which has quite stringent rules for power plants delivering electricity. Having a quicker online time has made us more valuable in the eyes of the regional network operator.

Assistant Electric Superintendent Jeff Heverley and Supply Supervisor Jerry Howe from the Borough of Chambersburg

How we did it

Challenge icon


  • Need for reliable and quick start up of the plant on demand
  • Existing control system becoming obsolete
  • Tailoring smooth and seamless communication between existing and new control system
Solution icon


  • Upgrading the engine automation control to Wärtsilä UNIC C3 on 2 out of 4 engines, in two phases (2014 & 2016) - including tailormade WOIS and plant automation upgrade (2014) to maintain full plant communication
Benefit icon


  • Increased power plant reliability
  • Risk management and mitigating obsolescence issues
  • Getting online faster, generating revenue sooner

The main details

CustomerThe Borough of Chambersburg
TypeWärtsilä 18V32DF flexible power plant
Where Pennsylvania, USA
Total output23 MW
FuelDual fuel
ScopePower plant upgrading automation system
Delivery2014 - 2016



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