Hybrid Power Plants From Wärtsilä

By Jack Burke16 April 2019

Wärtsilä said its new Engine+ Hybrid Energy solution integrates standardized energy storage solutions and energy management systems with flexible engine power plants, leading to greater efficiencies, maintenance optimization, emission reductions and a more streamlined addition of renewables into power systems.

The solution pairs engines with energy storage to form a fully integrated, automated system, and provides a reliable and environmentally sound power generation solution with improved efficiency for the operators and power producers of islanded grids.

The solution is designed to serve load instantly, address step changes and intermittencies, and provide spinning reserves. GEMS, the control platform, automatically dispatches available assets and takes into account any operational constraints to ensure optimal operation, the company said.

Plant power range runs from 6 to 400 MW and incorporates Wärtsilä’s 31, 32, 34 and 40 engine families operating on gas, liquid fuel or multifuel. Other engines are available upon request. The energy storage power range is typically between 2 and 20 MW with a storage capacity range between 30 minutes and 2 hours, typically.

Wärtsilä Engine+ Hybrid Energy is designed to enable customers to configure or reconfigure power plants with a wide range of goals and uses machine learning to predict operational conditions and automatically dispatch resources. As a result, Engine+ Hybrid Energy solution improves efficiencies and grid stability, saves on operational and management costs, reduces emissions and boosts system reliability, the company said. When an energy storage solution and energy management system are integrated into an engine power plant—as achieved by this new Wärtsilä offering–payback periods as short as two years can be achieved, the company said.

Many energy producers face two significant operational challenges related to how assets are utilized. The first is spinning reserves – the need to maintain online reserve capacity in order to meet rapid grid demand changes and ensure grid stability in case of generation disturbances. The second is an issue of determining the operating schedule of generating units with varying loads under different constraints and environments. The Engine+ Hybrid Energy solution addresses these challenges for island and remote grids, such as mining operations and other self-generation systems.

“Island grids and remote grid operations looking to grow and modernize often face tight margins, inflexibility from unit commitment and expensive fuel costs from spinning reserves,” said Andrew Tang, vice president, Energy Storage, Solar & Integration, Wärtsilä Energy Business. “The unmatched flexibility and real-time controls of Engine+ Hybrid Energy solution will reduce operational expenses and environmental impact, helping more of our customers reach their ambitious renewable energy goals and enhance the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future.”

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