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Wärtsilä Powers Through Texas Heat

Minimal water consumption, elevated efficiency key factors in order for fourth Texas plant

Posted on January 8, 2013

Wärtsilä received an order to engineer and supply a large power plant to South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC) in the U.S.A.

The STEC Red Gate power plant will be located in Hidalgo County, Texas, U.S.A., and is scheduled to be in commercial operation by summer 2014. The plant is designed to meet Best Available Control Technology (BACT) pollution standards will be powered by 12 Wärtsilä 50SG engines running on natural gas. The total output of the plant will be 225 MW and will help STEC to meet the growing demand for electricity in South Texas.

Wärtsilä already has three power plants installed in Texas, including the 200 MW plant at Pearsall, Texas, owned and operated by STEC.

“We see continued value in investments in flexible, efficient combustion engines to serve the needs of our member cooperatives, and we are very pleased to work with Wärtsilä on our Red Gate power project," said John Packard, manager of Generation, South Texas Electric Cooperative.

The Wärtsilä 50SG is a four-stroke, spark-ignited gas engine operating on the Otto cycle and incorporating the lean-burn principle. The lean-burn gas engines (SG) feature port admission of gas, a pre-chamber with controlled gas flow, as well as individual cylinder control of the gas charge and ignition timing. This choice of concept has made it possible to elevate the efficiency from 40% to more than 48% in the bigger engine models.

An additional benefit of the Wärtsilä 50SG engine is that its high simple-cycle efficiency is achieved with minimal water consumption, especially important in South Texas.  

Wärtsilä has also signed a Maintenance Agreement to provide technical and operational assistance with maintenance planning, technical advisors, spare parts and an on-site inventory.