By Editors of Power Engineering
Wartsila has signed a contract to provide smart power generation equipment for a 200 MW natural gas power plant under development in Arizona.
Tucson Electric Power, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., is building the plant on the site of an existing generating station that currently consists of both natural gas-fired and renewable energy assets. TEP selected ten Wartsila 50SG gas-fueled engines offering fast-start flexibility, which will address intermittency and other challenges associated with an expanding renewable energy portfolio. TEP’s goal is to generate at least 30 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.
“As we add more solar and wind, we'll need a resource that will respond quickly and reliably to the variable production of renewable resources,” said Conrad Spencer, director of the modernization project for TEP. “The latest generation of Wartsila natural gas-fueled engines take just a few minutes to start and reach full output, and they are more efficient than gas turbines.”
The Wartsila engines will replace two of the existing plant's older steam generators and improve the plant's overall efficiency. This will also reduce the plant's emissions of nitrogen oxides by approximately 60 percent, or 350 tons per year. Furthermore, the Wartsila engines require minimal amounts of water for cooling, which is an important consideration in Arizona's hot, dry climate.
“This plant will facilitate the integration of renewables into TEP's existing generation portfolio. Power from renewables is unavoidably intermittent, and by offering a resource that can respond rapidly to sudden losses, TEP will be able to reduce fuel costs, use less water, and reduce emissions,” said Jussi Heikkinen, Market Development Director at Wartsila North America Inc.
The plant will be built in two phases, with half the units coming online in mid-2019 and the remainder by early 2020.
Wartsila’s installed base in the United States, including projects under construction, exceeds 3000 MW.