Energy security power plant supplied by Wärtsilä to be inaugurated today in Estonia

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release 31 October 2014 at 10:30 UTC+2
  • g’s emergency reserve power plant with a capacity of 250 MW is fully automated and requires no on-site personnel.

The inauguration of the new 250 MW emergency reserve power plant takes place today with a ceremony at the plant site near Kiisa in the outskirts of Tallinn, Estonia. The event is hosted by the owner of the plant, Elering, the Estonian transmission system operator. Wärtsilä has been responsible for the EPC-delivery (engineering, procurement and construction) of the plant and for the project management.

The new Smart Power Generation power plant will provide emergency power in case of sudden drops in the electricity supply. The plant is activated when there is a failure in the grid or in other power plants serving the grid. The capacity is sufficient to cover one-sixth of Estonia’s peak electricity consumption in the winter, thus providing a significant improvement to the country’s energy security.

To avoid blackouts, an emergency reserve power plant needs to be able to start up as rapidly as possible. Thanks to the agile internal combustion engine (ICE) technology, Elering’s emergency reserve power plant can be started and ramped to its full load of 250 MW in less than 10 minutes.

The power station consists of 27 Wärtsilä 34DF engines, which operate mainly on natural gas but can switch to light fuel oil as a back-up fuel. The fuel efficiency of 45 percent is exceptionally high for an emergency plant. Higher efficiency produces more energy from the same amount of fuel and less carbon emissions.

Built for emergency use, the plant will typically operate for only about 200 hours per year. In stand-by mode, the energy consumption of the plant is minuscule at only 300 kilowatts. This is achieved by using heat pump technology to keep the engines warm. Allegedly, this is the first plant in the world with such a solution.

“This is an important EPC-project for Wärtsilä in the European context. We are also proud of the fact that this is the first dynamic grid stability plant to have been primary tested to fulfil the new reliability requirements by the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E),” says Vesa Riihimäki, Quality Vice President of Wärtsilä. The ENTSO-E requirements include criteria for maintaining frequency stability in case of short circuits and other disturbances.

“We were also able to reach very low noise levels. You cannot hear the hum of the engines outside the plant gates,” Vesa Riihimäki adds. The power plant is fully automated and requires no on-site personnel. Wärtsilä’s total installed power generation capacity in Europe and Russia is over 9000 MW.

Download photo: Elering’s emergency reserve power plant
Caption: Elering’s emergency reserve power plant with a capacity of 250 MW is fully automated and requires no on-site personnel.

For further information please contact:

Vesa Riihimäki
Vice President, Wärtsilä Quality
Tel: +358 40 504 5929

Jukka-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.