Wartsila Technology to Provide Cleaner Energy to a City Util
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This news is classified in: Traditional Energy Power Generation

Feb 26, 2024

Wartsila Technology to Provide Cleaner Energy to a City Utility in USA

Technology group Wärtsilä will supply the generating equipment for an 18 MW expansion to an existing power plant in New Mexico, USA, utilizing reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) technology. The plant will operate on natural gas fuel, and will replace lost generating capacity following the closure of a coal-fired power plant and also provide flexible dispatchable power for the utility and their power needs. The contract is with the City of Farmington and was booked as order intake by Wärtsilä in November 2023.

By switching from coal to natural gas, the project aligns with the global trend towards cleaner, lower-carbon fuels. The two Wärtsilä 34SG gas-fuelled engines selected for this project are also capable of operating on biogas, synthetic methanol and hydrogen blend. They require minimal water consumption, which is an important consideration in areas such as New Mexico where high ambient temperatures can be expected and water is scarce.

"We are excited to partner with Wärtsilä on this important project," said Hank Adair, Electric Utility Director for the City of Farmington. "The Farmington Electric Utility System is responsible for ensuring safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to its ratepayers, and this new power plant will help us ensure that we meet these responsibilities. Furthermore, the efficiency and reliability of the Wärtsilä engine technology will considerably reduce the harmful emissions. This project meets and exceeds all the objectives of our Integrated Resource Plan."

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"This project is another great example of RICE technology fulfilling important needs of U.S. utility customers such as firm dispatchable capacity with superior flexibility,” said Jon Rodriguez, Director, Engine Power Plants, North America at Wärtsilä Energy. “Our involvement in projects such as this highlights our dedication to supporting our customers as they transition to cleaner, more reliable energy."

The Wärtsilä equipment for the project is expected to be delivered by January 2025. When operational, the plant will provide sufficient power to deliver electricity to approximately 14,000 homes. It will also boost local employment.

Wärtsilä has installed over 70 engine power plants, as well as 29 energy storage facilities in the U.S. since 1981. These installations have a total combined capacity of more than 6.9 GW.