Wärtsilä to supply a 112 MW peaking power plant to North Dakota, USA

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release 15 October 2014 at 12:30 UTC+2
  • The new power plant will consist of twelve quick-starting Wärtsilä 34SG engines, similar to these shown in a 203 MW Smart Power Generation plant in Texas

Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to supply a Smart Power Generation power plant to Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Williston, North Dakota. The contract was signed in September 2014 and the equipment will be delivered in November 2015.

Wärtsilä’s Smart Power Generation power plant will be the first with internal combustion engine (ICE) technology in Basin Electric’s portfolio. It will have an output of 112 MW from twelve Wärtsilä 34SG engines running on natural gas.

“The main reason is the inherent reliability and flexibility of combustion engines. They are reliable in cold environments and perform well using natural gas that is rich with ethane and propane. They also have a better heat rate than combustion turbines, which reduces fuel consumption,” Basin Electric’s Project Manager Josh Rossow says.

New generation capacity is needed to meet the growing electricity demand caused by the oil boom in the nearby Bakken area. “We are seeing growth of demand in all sectors, including agriculture, the oil industry and households. New flexible capacity is needed to cover the peak load demand,” adds Rossow.

“The key to operational flexibility is quick starting and fast ramping. This is increasingly needed to follow load efficiently and to shave peaks in power demand,” Wärtsilä’s Business Development Manager Dan Johnson explains.

The vast shale oil reserves of the Bakken formation and the successful use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking have led to an unprecedented economic boom in North Dakota. Gross domestic product grew by 9.7 percent in 2013, five times faster than the national average. The unemployment rate is the lowest in the country. The population of Williston, home to the new power plant, grew by 28 percent between 2000 and 2011.

Wärtsilä’s total installed generating capacity in the United States is currently some 2400 MW.

Download photo: Wärtsilä 34SG engines
Caption: The new power plant will consist of twelve quick-starting Wärtsilä 34SG engines, similar to these shown in a 203 MW Smart Power Generation plant in Texas.

For further information please contact:

Phil Rutkowski
Business Development Manager
Energy Solutions, Wärtsilä North America Inc.
Tel: +1 720 360 9444

Juka-Pekka Niemi
General Manager, Marketing
Wärtsilä Energy Solutions 
Tel: +358 10 709 0000

Wärtsilä Power Plants in brief
Wärtsilä Power Plants is a leading global supplier of flexible baseload power plants of up to 600 MW operating on various gaseous and liquid fuels. Our portfolio includes unique solutions for peaking, reserve and load-following power generation, as well as for balancing intermittent power production. Wärtsilä Power Plants also provides LNG terminals and distribution systems. As of 2014, Wärtsilä has 56 GW of installed power plant capacity in 170 countries around the world.

Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximizes the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2013, Wärtsilä's net sales totalled EUR 4.7 billion with approximately 18,700 employees. The company has operations in more than 200 locations in nearly 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.