Wärtsilä has been contracted to deliver a 102 MW dual-fuel power plant to the Caribbean island of Aruba.
The plant was ordered by the local utility, Water – En Energiebedrijf Aruba N.V. (WEB), to enable it to start transitioning away from HFO. These engines will create the necessary flexibility in the current energy mix and are more efficient compared to the existing steam generating assets, the company said. The overall emissions from the WEB generating complex will be largely reduced and will have a positive impact on the environment. The fast-starting Wärtsilä Smart Power Generation solution will also enable WEB to increase its investment in renewable generation. The order was booked in Q2 and Notice to Proceed will be received in Q4.
The plant will initially operate on HFO. However, when liquefied natural gas (LNG) becomes available on the island, the plant will operate primarily on LNG but will have the capability to switch to alternative back-up fuels (HFO or LFO, light fuel oil) should it be necessary. The flexibility of the six Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines that will power this plant greatly facilitates the integration of higher levels of wind and solar into the system. By being able to reach full output in a matter of minutes and provide an effective balancing role, they ensure system stability to offset the inevitable fluctuations in supply from wind and sun.
“WEB has been aggressively taking steps to increase the efficiency and diversity of its generating assets,” said Luis Oduber, CEO of WEB Aruba. “Central to this is the adoption of greater levels of renewable energy, and for this, our existing plant needs to be replaced with more efficient and flexible generation. The new Wärtsilä plant has the efficiency and flexibility needed to meet our needs.”
Wärtsilä will supply the plant on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis. Delivery is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019 and it is expected to be fully operational by February 2020.
“We have enjoyed a close relationship with WEB for some 20 years already, and we are delighted to have been selected to deliver this clean-burning, LNG fuelled Smart Power Generation plant to Aruba. The energy landscape is moving towards more flexible and sustainable energy systems, and Wärtsilä is leading the transition towards a 100 percent renewable energy future,” said Rodney George, vice president Caribbean, at Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.