Wärtsilä turns over CHP plant

By Jack Burke08 December 2022

Powered by eight 31SG engines running on natural gas

A combined heat and power (CHP) plant supplied and built by Wärtsilä for the German public utility SachsenEnergie has been commissioned and handed over for commercial operation.

The plant will supply both 94 MW of electrical power and 84 MW of district heating for the city of Dresden.

The plant operates with eight Wärtsilä 31SG engines running on natural gas. Full output can be reached in five minutes or less from start-up, and they can synchronize with the grid in less than 30 seconds to provide immediate balancing capability, the company said. This is important, both for the utility’s participation in balancing power markets, and to facilitate greater integration of renewables—solar and wind power—into the system, according to Wärtsilä.

The gas engine CHP plant in Dresden generates 90 MW of electricity and 84 MW of heat, and is also black start capable. (Image: Oliver Killig, SachsenEnergie AG)

“This greatly strengthens our generating capacity,” said Dr. Frank Brinkmann, CEO of SachsenEnergie AG. “After intensive testing and validation, we are confident that we can provide high efficiency for the winter while at the same time providing the necessary flexibility. The energy systems are undergoing a major upheaval. The energy transition with the goal of decarbonization, i.e. the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, requires innovative approaches for a sustainable and secure energy supply - this plant is part of the solution.”

The plant was delivered by Wärtsilä on an engineering, procurement, and construction basis. Wärtsilä will also maintain the facility under a Guaranteed Asset Performance agreement for 10 years, with a five-year extension option. The performance targets are determined based on measured data. Wärtsilä guarantees that these targets are met and maintained throughout the duration of the agreement.

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