Wärtsilä to deliver power plant featuring LPG to Virgin Islands

July 27, 2020 By    

The technology group Wärtsilä will deliver a power plant and energy storage system to the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA), the Finnish company announced.

The plant will have the capability to burn both LP gas and light fuel oil while also being fitted with batteries utilizing Wärtsilä’s GEMS energy management platform to provide optimized energy operations.

The four Wärtsilä 32LG engines will deliver a total output of 36 megawatts (MW), while the energy storage system will add 9 MW for up to two hours. In addition to being Wärtsilä’s first engine/hybrid power plant sale, this will also be the first installation of the Wärtsilä LG engines and its first engines capable of burning both LPG and light fuel oil, the company says.

“The Wärtsilä plant will provide much-needed additional baseload capacity to the island’s electricity supply,” explains Lawrence Kupfer, CEO of WAPA. “It will improve the system’s reliability while at the same time giving us additional fuel and operational flexibility that will increase fuel efficiency and lower overall operating costs. It will also reduce the dependence and environmental impact of diesel oil. The four generators are fueled by a cleaner burning fuel, which will lead to reduced air emissions and enhanced overall air quality. There is no adverse impact to land, water or the surrounding areas.”

According to Edmund Phillips, business development manager at Wärtsilä Energy, the hybrid solution will add more operational flexibility and serve to improve the existing grid stability on the island.

“This project showcases our unique technological capabilities in combining an engine power plant and energy storage, and our commitment to drive the energy transition towards low-carbon systems,” he says.

The project is scheduled for completion with a fully operational plant by spring 2022. Wärtsilä has previously supplied and installed a 21 MW power plant running primarily on propane to WAPA.

Featured image courtesy of Wärtsilä

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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