Finland’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Mauri Pekkarinen, today inaugurated the New Energy power plant at the Vaasa Housing Fair. The fuel cell unit, developed by Wärtsilä, is based on planar solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, and is the first of its kind in the world. The plant is fuelled by methane gas originating from a nearby landfill, a gas that would otherwise be harmful to the environment. The fuel cell power plant has a very high efficiency level, and will produce both electricity and heating for the fair site’s needs.
Fuel cell plant emissions are very low, and the solution supports, therefore, the development of sustainable energy technology. The fuel cell unit for the fair site is Wärtsilä’s first field application of this technology. During the initial phase, it will produce an electricity output of approximately 20 kW and a thermal output of 14 to 17 kW.
”The development of fuel cell technology is part of Wärtsilä’s long-term product development aimed at supplementing the company’s product portfolio. The development of environmentally friendlier, cleaner, and more sustainable energy production technologies is an essential element of Wärtsilä’s strategy”, says Juha Kytölä, Managing Director of Wärtsilä Finland Oy.
The Vaasa Housing Fair, which is open to the public from 11 July to 10 August 2008, is pioneering the implementation of energy production processes for a restricted area. Electricity and heating are produced and consumed within the fairground area.
In addition to that produced by fuel cells, power and heat are also produced by micro turbines and from low-temperature heat collected from the seabed using a geothermal heating pump. Wärtsilä is responsible for both the delivery of the fuel cell plant, as well as the building development and project-time financing for the New Energy power plant building at the fair site. Wärtsilä’s partners in the project include Sarlin Oy, Mateve Oy, Suomen Lämpöpumpputekniikka Oy, Sonera, plus the City of Vaasa, Vaasan Sähköverkko, Vaasan Sähkö and Vaasan Vesi.
The landfill gas used by the fuel cell power plant is a renewable fuel, which means that fuel cell technology is compliant with the energy and climate package of the EU Commission. The EU requires Finland to increase its share of renewable sources from the present 28.5 per cent, to 38 per cent of energy production by 2020.
For further information, please contact:
Mr Juha Kytölä
President, Wärtsilä Finland Oy
Tel. +358 40 5002936
Mr Simo Ahtola
Project Manager, Wärtsilä Finland Oy
Tel. +358 40 5019251
Wärtsilä in brief
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 17,000 professionals manning 160 Wärtsilä locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on The Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.