Wärtsilä will supply a 100 MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant to Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden AG in Germany. The Smart Power Generation power plant, consisting of ten Wärtsilä 34SG engines running on natural gas, is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2018. Wärtsilä’s scope covers the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), as well as a 15-year service agreement with performance guarantees. The order is included in the order book for the fourth quarter, 2016.
“Unlike traditional CHP power plants based on coal fired units or gas turbines, the Wärtsilä gas engines can be started and stopped without limitations within just 2 minutes. This allows us to operate in the balancing markets, since we can adjust the power output quickly to respond to the fluctuations in power demand as signalled by the electricity price,” says Dr. Lars Eigenmann, CEO at Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden AG.
Dr. Eigenmann further explains that the unique operational flexibility represented by the Wärtsilä engines offers Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden a completely new way of operating their power generation units profitably. “With flexible capacity like this, we have the chance to operate successfully at those times of the day in Germany when there is no solar or wind power available. We can start and stop several times a day, and sell the power to the European wholesale markets.”
As part of the German climate action plan, the country has committed to increasing the share of electricity produced by CHP power plants to 25% of the total electricity production by 2025. To meet this target, the renewed CHP Act favours flexible and environmentally-friendly CHP power plants that can operate in the balancing markets, while at the same time generating heat for the community.
This new CHP power plant, Wärtsilä’s first of this size in Germany, will provide 100 MW electrical power, and up to 96 MW of heating power to the citizens of Mainz in the heart of Europe, where the local district heating network delivers heat to about 40,000 households. The new plant can reach a total efficiency of 90 percent. It utilises fuel in the most efficient way which in turn helps to reduce emissions.
Upon completion of the power plant, the Mainz-Wiesbaden area will be undergoing a transition from a traditional power and heat generation system to a modern, agile, low-carbon system utilizing green energy assets to the full.
“This project supports Germany’s development towards a low carbon economy. With our dynamic district heating solution, Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden can improve the total efficiency of its portfolio by approximately 5-10 percent,” says Christer Strandvall, Regional Director at Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.