Wärtsilä to deliver 76 MW gas power plant to Kansas utility Midwest Energy, Inc.

Wärtsilä Corporation, Trade press release 21 February 2007 at 02:00 UTC+2

Wärtsilä Corporation, a leading global provider of power plants, signed an equipment supply contract for a 76 MW gas-fired power plant for Midwest Energy, Inc., a customer-owned electric and gas utility serving central and western Kansas. The contract is valued at more than USD 30 million (more than EUR 25 million). This is the second power plant order this year to the US and it was mentioned earlier in a press release regarding the Tierra Energy power plant order, published by Wärtsilä on 6 February 2007.

The power plant, to be called “Goodman Energy Center”, will be located in Hays, Kansas and will supply reliable, flexible power to Midwest Energy’s 48,000 electric customers. The plant is expected to begin producing power in time for the summer 2008 peaking season and to be in full commercial operation by September 2008.

Earnie Lehman, Midwest Energy’s President and General Manager, said the Goodman Energy Center “provides a clean, cost-effective way to meet the peak energy needs of our customers, and will improve service reliability. This project will provide an efficient resource with extremely low emissions and negligible water consumption.” The plant is named for Mr. Jack Goodman, General Manager of Midwest Energy and its predecessor company Central Kansas Electric Cooperative from 1951 to 1992. “Our Board and employees could think of no more fitting honor for Mr. Goodman, who created Midwest Energy, than to give his name to our first power plant constructed in 37 years,” Lehman said.

Hays is located near the western edge of the Great Plains at 2150 feet (655 m). Summertime temperatures can climb to more than 100˚F (40˚C), while winter can be bitterly cold. Wärtsilä’s low heat rate, technology that does not require process water, operational flexibility and constant performance over varying ambient conditions gave their solution the lowest evaluated cost of power compared to the other bidders.

“The Goodman Energy Center is an important project for Wärtsilä in the Midwest,” says Frank Donnelly, Vice President Power for Wärtsilä North America. “This power plant is the largest for Wärtsilä east of Colorado and follows closely on the heels of three other large US orders for Wärtsilä in just the past 9 months, demonstrating that our flexible power plants have become widely accepted in this market. We appreciate the faith Midwest Energy has placed in us and look forward to furthering our successful working relationship with them”.

Wärtsilä will furnish nine Wärtsilä 20V34SG natural gas-fired engines for the Goodman Energy Center. The engines will be equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to reduce flue gas emissions, thereby meeting today’s increasingly stringent air quality requirements. The plant will provide capacity, energy and black start capabilities to help support Midwest Energy’s 325 megawatt total system demand. Burns & McDonnell, Inc. of Kansas City will serve as the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

Wärtsilä’s Flexible Power Plants – A Competitive Alternative to Gas Turbines

Wärtsilä’s natural gas fueled technology has the capability to operate efficiently at low loads. This feature increases the number of megawatts of “spinning reserve” available to the customer, thereby increasing the value of the plant.

Other features of Wärtsilä gas power plants include outstanding heat rates at all loads, the ability to provide 25% power in two minutes and reach full plant output in less than ten minutes, and rapid response to varying grid conditions. Wärtsilä’s flexible power plants are able to supply all commercially traded ancillary services and offer full grid black start capabilities.

Furthermore, by employing a closed loop cooling system, Wärtsilä’s engines do not consume process water or require wastewater treatment or disposal. This helps to address the growing concern over water supply in many areas of the US. 

About Midwest Energy, Inc.:

Midwest Energy is a customer owned electric and natural gas utility, serving nearly 48,000 electric and 42,000 gas customers in 41 counties in central and western Kansas . The Company is headquartered in Hays, Kansas has 263 employees and maintains 8 local customer service offices.

For further information, please contact:

Bob Helm
Manager of Corporate Communications
Midwest Energy, Inc.
Email: bhelm@mwenergy.com

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 14,000 professionals manning 130 Wärtsilä locations in close to 70 countries around the world.


For further information, please contact:

Sabrina Garg
Marketing Specialist
Wärtsilä North America
Direct: +1 281 233 6209
Fax: +1 281 233 6233
Email: sabrina.garg@wartsila.com


Maria Nystrand
Public Relations Manager
Marketing Communications
Wärtsilä Finland Oy
Direct tel: +358 10 709 1456
Fax: + 358 10 709 1425
Email: maria.nystrand@wartsila.com