Wärtsilä North America, Inc., a subsidiary of Wärtsilä Corporation, a leading global provider of power plants for flexible power generation, was in March released to begin detailed engineering and manufacturing on a 163 MWe gas-fired power plant (“Plant”) for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). This begins preparation for the start of plant construction in the latter part of 2008.
It was announced in April 2006 that Wärtsilä North America, Inc. was selected to deliver the power plant to PG&E. The project has been subject to the approval of the California Public Utility Commission and environmental permits issued by the California Energy Commission. All approvals have now been received. The value of the project is more than EUR 100 million.
The Plant will be located in Humboldt County near Eureka in northern California and is expected to enter commercial operation by mid-2010. PG&E selected Wärtsilä’s technology in order to repower their existing Humboldt Bay plant. When compared to the existing 50 year old PG&E plant, the new facility will be 33% more efficient with 85% fewer ozone forming compounds and a 34% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions production.
The new facility will consist of 10 Wärtsilä 18V50DF lean-burn dual-fuel engines delivered on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. The engines will be fuelled by natural gas, and will be capable of using 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.
Wärtsilä´s Flexible Power Plants – A Superior Alternative
Wärtsilä’s flexible power plants are able to reach full plant output in less than ten minutes, provide 25 percent power in two minutes and respond rapidly to varying grid conditions. They also offer the highest simple cycle efficiency available in the industry, constant performance over varying ambient conditions, low lifecycle costs and small unit sizes.
Wärtsilä’s natural gas fueled technology has the capability to operate efficiently at low loads, which could not only lead to potentially lower electricity costs, but also increases the number of megawatts of “spinning reserve” available to the customer. This increases the value of the power plant. Additionally, Wärtsilä’s flexible power plants are able to supply all commercially traded ancillary services, including black start capabilities.
Wärtsilä flexible power also allows its customers to meet today’s increasingly stringent air quality requirements. Furthermore, by employing a closed loop cooling system, Wärtsilä’s engines do not consume process water or require significant wastewater treatment or disposal. This helps to address the growing concern over water supply in many areas of the US.
Wärtsilä’s Dual-Fuel Technology
The Wärtsilä 50DF lean-burn dual-fuel engine is designed to incorporate both low emissions and high fuel efficiency, making it a competitive alternative to gas turbines. It has become a popular engine for power plant installations in countries all over the world. It is available with up to 18 cylinders giving up to 16.64 MWe in continuous base-load operation.
In the event of loss of gas pressure, the engines switch over to the back-up fuel (i.e. diesel). The engines are fully capable of automatically changing from gas to back-up fuel instantly if the gas supply is interrupted while continuing to deliver full power. When the gas supply is restored, it is then possible to quickly switch back to gas mode.
About Wärtsilä Corporation:
Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 16,000 professionals manning 150 Wärtsilä locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on The Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.
For further information, please contact:
Wärtsilä North America, Inc.
Tel: +1 281 233 6201
Senior Marketing Specialist
Wärtsilä North America, Inc.
Direct tel: +1 281 233 6209
Direct fax: +1 281 233 6233
Public Relations Manager, Power Plants
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1456
Direct fax: +358 10 709 1425