Wärtsilä North America, a subsidiary of Wärtsilä Corporation and a leading provider of power plants for flexible power generation, has been awarded an engineered equipment supply contract by GEUS, a municipally-owned electric power, cable and high-speed internet system, located in Greenville, Texas, USA.

This is Wärtsilä’s first power plant order for a municipally-owned utility in the state of Texas. The contract for the 25MWe gas-fired power plant is valued at over $19 million. The plant will help provide power to the 26,000 consumers in Greenville and the surrounding area served by GEUS, as well as help to meet their 113MW peak demand. It will also be dispatched to meet the requirements of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

The power plant, to be called the “Greenville engine plant” will operate on pipeline quality natural gas and will feature three Wärtsilä 20V34SG engines, along with mechanical, electrical and control auxiliaries, switchgear and exhaust emission controls. Additionally, Wärtsilä will provide installation and commissioning support, as well as factory training.

“Wärtsilä was chosen due to the efficiency of their engines and fast start capability, which will allow GEUS to self-provide energy during intervals of high market prices,” said David McCalla, GEUS general manager. “This addition to our resource portfolio supports GEUS’ mission of providing the most economical, reliable power available to the Greenville, Texas community,” McCalla added.

“Wärtsilä is delighted to be working with Mr. McCalla and his team at GEUS, the first municipally-owned electric utility in Texas, for this new flexible power plant,” says Wayne Elmore, business development manager for Wärtsilä in North America. “This much needed project will provide clean, high efficiency peaking and fast response power to Greenville and the ERCOT market.”

The plant will be connected to the local utility’s grid and located on an existing power plant site in Greenville, Texas, which is about 50 miles north-east of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The equipment is expected to arrive at the site in August of 2010, with the entire plant entering commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2010.

A superior alternative

Wärtsilä’s flexible power plants features include the ability to reach full plant output in eight minutes, provide 25% power in two minutes, the highest simple cycle efficiency available in the industry, constant performance over varying ambient conditions, low lifecycle costs, small unit sizes and rapid response to varying grid conditions.

Wärtsilä’s natural gas fueled technology has the capability to operate efficiently at low loads. This feature not only translates into lower electricity costs for GEUS’ consumer/owners, but it also increases the number of megawatts of “non-spinning reserve” available to the ERCOT grid, thereby increasing the value of the 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 US.