Humboldt Bay, California, USA
The plant is located in Humboldt County near Eureka in northern California. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) selected Wärtsilä's technology in order to replace two 50-year-old gas turbine units on the same site. Compared to the old turbine power plant, the new facility is 33% more efficient with 85% fewer ozone-forming compounds, and a 34% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions production. The plant was designed to meet California's stringent air permitting requirements, and the regulations of California Energy Commission.
The facility consists of ten Wärtsilä 18V50DF dual-fuel engines delivered on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. The quick-starting engines are fuelled by natural gas, and use ultra-low sulphur diesel as a back-up during times of natural gas curtailment. The plant is capable of producing enough electricity to serve approximately 125,000 homes.
The generating station employs a closed-loop cooling system with negligible water usage, eliminating the use of water from Humboldt Bay for cooling. According to EG&P, the Wärtsilä engine technology is ideal for providing a reliable backup to intermittent renewable resources, such as wind power resources, which are currently being developed in the region.