Ground-breaking of the 171MW Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) Generation Plant, located near Anchorage, Alaska, will take place on June 26th with a ceremony at the future plant site. Many local and statewide dignitaries have been invited to participate in the event. Wärtsilä is the supplier of a major portion of the power plant equipment and a leading global supplier of flexible power plants and services to the global power generation market.
Wärtsilä’s scope of supply to the MEA plant will include ten 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel generating sets that will be operated primarily on natural gas. However, in case of interruption to the gas supply, the advanced Wärtsilä dual-fuel technology enables the engines to switch smoothly while operating to an alternative fuel, in this case light fuel oil (LFO). Wärtsilä will also supply specified auxiliary equipment.
The future power plant’s Wärtsilä generating sets will meet the State of Alaska air quality permits specific to this project and will provide the reliability, efficiency and environmental sustainability required by MEA.
The plant will supply electricity to more than 100,000 households and will add power to the local grid and MEA’s roughly 4,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines.
“The generation station springing from this ground-breaking will provide virtually all electricity required from Eagle River to Honolulyu on the Parks Highway some 200 miles north. It represents a major change in who MEA is since the utility is becoming a vertically integrated generation, transmission and distribution entity. This is the biggest project taken on by MEA since its inception 75 years ago,” said Joe Griffith, General Manager of MEA.
“This power plant ushers in a new era of electric generation for Alaska, with exceptionally efficient production, state of the art emissions control, and with the lowest carbon footprint and lowest water usage available from simple cycle power plants using natural gas fuel,” states Dennis Finn, Wärtsilä’s Business Development Manager.
With this project, Wärtsilä has more than 1870 MW of flexible power plant capacity, either installed or on order in the USA.
Wärtsilä´s flexible power plants – a superior alternative
Wärtsilä’s flexible power plant features include the ability to reach full plant output in five minutes or ten minutes depending on the specific Wärtsilä technology, provide 25 percent power in two minutes, the highest simple cycle efficiency available in the industry, constant performance over varying ambient conditions, low lifecycle costs, multi unit power plant solutions, and rapid response to varying grid conditions.
Wärtsilä’s natural gas fueled technology has the capability to operate efficiently at low loads; a capability that can be used for providing “spinning reserve” for the system. 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’s flexible power plants also allow 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 USA.
The MEA Generation Plant is scheduled to be fully operational by end of 2014.
For further information, please contact:
Local contact – Wärtsilä:
Business Development Manager
Wärtsilä North America
Tel. +1 303-660-0528
Local media contact – Wärtsilä:
Wärtsilä North America
Tel.+1 281 233 6228
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 maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2011, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.2 billion with approximately 18,000 employees. The company has operations in nearly 170 locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc in brief
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska's oldest and second-largest electric cooperatives, is owned and operated by its members.