Wartsila will supply a 47 MW Smart Power Generation power plant to Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) in Minnesota, USA. The order includes five Wartsila 34SG engines running on natural gas. The equipment will be delivered in the autumn of 2017, and the plant is expected to be fully operational in May 2018.
“Wartsila engines are an important piece of RPU’s diversified portfolio which also includes various forms of renewable generation. This facility will help meet RPU’s capacity obligation with the reliability and reduced emissions of a natural gas powered plant. Compared to the aged coal and gas turbine based capacity it will replace, the power plant will nearly double the efficiency and reduce hourly carbon emissions by 50 percent,” says Walter Schlink, Director of Power Resources at RPU.
According to Schlink, being able to produce RPU-owned, low-cost energy provides a hedge against the risk of volatile electricity prices when RPU markets the unit within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). The quick-start attributes of this facility will allow RPU to take advantage of market opportunities and offer products into MISO outside of just energy, such as reserves and regulation.
Fast load-following capacity will also be needed to support the use of wind and solar energy in Minnesota. The state’s Renewable Energy Standard is one of the strongest in the USA: 25 percent of the total electrical generation should come from renewable sources by 2025.
Wartsila’s installed power generation base in the United States is approximately 2800 MW and globally 58 GW.