DREWAG_ (1920 x 690 px)
DREWAG + Wärtsilä

Reference case

Flexible combined heat and power plant (CHP) enabling energy transition in Germany

DREWAG, the local utility company in Dresden, is taking on the German energy transition by investing in a flexible 94-MW combined heat and power (CHP) engine power plant from Wärtsilä. In line with DREWAG’s commitment to both renewable energy and security of supply, the new plant offers the company both high deployment flexibility and black start capability.

Preventing blackouts through sustainable power generation

DREWAG supplies nearly 300,000 household and industrial customers with electricity, natural gas, drinking water and district heat in the Dresden area.

The new flexible CHP gas engine power plant will produce electricity and district heating simultaneously and will be very important for the start-up of the Dresden grid in case of a blackout. It has no need for a separate emergency generator, as power for the plant’s necessary auxiliaries is supplied by a dedicated uninterruptable power supply (UPS) system. The plant enables DREWAG also to participate in the day-ahead, intra-day and balancing power markets.

A flexible balancing solution for a renewable energy system

The Dresden-Reick balancing power plant features eight Wärtsilä 31SG engines, that operate on natural gas, are extremely flexible and have the highest efficiency on the market. These gas engines are capable of reaching full output from start-up in approximately two minutes and can provide immediate grid stability. The plant can operate on the secondary balancing market in Germany even from standstill and synchronize to the grid in less than 30 seconds.

The Dresden-Reick facility is delivered on an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. Wärtsilä will also provide power plant maintenance under a Guaranteed Asset Performance Agreement for ten years, with a five-year extension option. The agreement guarantees the plant availability and starting reliability as well as safe operation of the power plant.

WhoSachsen energie
What94 MW flexible CHP power plant
HowEPC (Engineering, procurement & construction)



This is what we are achieving


MW of electrical output


MW of district heating output


and less to synchronise the plant to the grid

The state-of-the-art gas engine technology provided by Wärtsilä is designed to produce minute-to-minute power when it is most valuable. It is equipped with the highest level of efficiency and emission control systems to supply safe, clean, and affordable energy for the state capital for the coming decades.

Dr. Frank Brinkmann, Managing Director, DREWAG

How we did it

Challenge icon


  • Need for continuous and reliable electricity and district heating to Dresden city
  • Need to increase the share of renewables in the power system and balance the intermittency of renewable energy
  • Need to ensure that the plant will start and operate reliably in a matter of minutes

Solution icon


  • Wärtsilä 31SG based combined heat and power engine power plant
  • Extremely flexible and efficient Wärtsilä 31SG engines operating on natural gas and reaching full output from start-up in a matter of only a couple of minutes
  • Professional maintenance of the power plant with 10-year maintenance agreement

Benefit icon


  • Efficient electricity and heat generation. Safe, reliable, clean, and affordable energy
  • Minute-by-minute power production providing a perfect balance to renewables
  • Guaranteed maximised asset performance, availability and profitability, extremely high starting reliability and safe operation of the power plant

The main details

TypeWärtsilä 31SG based combined heat and power (CHP) engine power plant
Operating modeFlexible, power oriented production with district heating production, also supply for balancing power in different markets
Gensets8 x Wärtsilä 31SG
Total output94 MW electrical and 84 MW of district heating
FuelNatural gas
Lifecycle solutionA 10-year guaranteed asset performance agreement, with a five-year extension option
DeliveryOperational in 2022

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