Wartsila Power Plant to be Inaugurated Today in Estonia

By MarEx 2014-10-31 15:06:00

The inauguration of the new 250 MW emergency reserve power plant takes place today with a ceremony at the plant site near Kiisa in the outskirts of Tallinn, Estonia. The event is hosted by the owner of the plant, Elering, the Estonian transmission system operator. Wärtsilä has been responsible for the EPC-delivery (engineering, procurement and construction) of the plant and for the project management. 

The new Smart Power Generation power plant will provide emergency power in case of sudden drops in the electricity supply. The plant is activated when there is a failure in the grid or in other power plants serving the grid. The capacity is sufficient to cover one-sixth of Estonia's peak electricity consumption in the winter, thus providing a significant improvement to the country's energy security. 

To avoid blackouts, an emergency reserve power plant needs to be able to start up as rapidly as possible. Thanks to the agile internal combustion engine (ICE) technology, Elering's emergency reserve power plant can be started and ramped to its full load of 250 MW in less than 10 minutes. 

The power station consists of 27 Wärtsilä 34DF engines, which operate mainly on natural gas but can switch to light fuel oil as a back-up fuel. The fuel efficiency of 45 percent is exceptionally high for an emergency plant. Higher efficiency produces more energy from the same amount of fuel and less carbon emissions. 

Built for emergency use, the plant will typically operate for only about 200 hours per year. In stand-by mode, the energy consumption of the plant is minuscule at only 300 kilowatts. This is achieved by using heat pump technology to keep the engines warm. Allegedly, this is the first plant in the world with such a solution.

"This is an important EPC-project for Wärtsilä in the European context. We are also proud of the fact that this is the first dynamic grid stability plant to have been primary tested to fulfil the new reliability requirements by the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E)," says Vesa Riihimäki, Quality Vice President of Wärtsilä. The ENTSO-E requirements include criteria for maintaining frequency stability in case of short circuits and other disturbances. 

"We were also able to reach very low noise levels. You cannot hear the hum of the engines outside the plant gates," Vesa Riihimäki adds. The power plant is fully automated and requires no on-site personnel. Wärtsilä's total installed power generation capacity in Europe and Russia is over 9000 MW.

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