Wärtsilä: Extension to a wind-balancing power plant in USA
Wärtsilä will supply an extension to the Goodman Energy Center in Kansas, owned by Midwest Energy Inc. The extension will increase the power plant's generation capacity from 75 MW to 104 MW. The extension includes three Wärtsilä 34SG engines and is scheduled to be delivered in October 2015. The power plant, consisting of nine engines of the same type, was initially supplied by Wärtsilä in 2008.
"When we looked at electric loads, we saw a clear need for additional generation resources. This extension will enable the plant to accommodate the load growth, while remaining a reliable back-up generation source for the wind generation resources in the region," said Bill Dowling, Midwest Energy's Vice President of Engineering and Energy Supply.
Wärtsilä's fast-reacting Smart Power Generation power plants have an extensive track record of balancing the output of wind farms in Kansas, Colorado and Texas. The capability of starting to full load in less than five minutes is crucial when following intermittent wind energy.
The Goodman Energy Center was recognized for its "consistent superior performance" by NAES Corporation in October 2014. NAES operates the power plant and several other electric generation facilities under contract for Midwest Energy. This marks the third straight year the plant has won the award. The power station has achieved consistent improvement in all of the NAES award criteria: availability factor, forced outage factors, number of unit trips and personnel turnover.
The power station also received a Top Plant award by POWER magazine in 2009. "The engine's part-load efficiency and low overall heat rate rival those of a modern combustion turbine combined-cycle plant, and the multiple-unit configuration gives load dispatchers much more operating flexibility than a combined-cycle plant for meeting system demand," the magazine wrote.
Wärtsilä's total installed capacity in the United States is currently approximately 2400 MW.
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