Stillwater Utilities Authority Orders Natural Gas Engines To Help Integrate Renewables

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Wartsila Corp. has been contracted to supply a 56 MW Smart Power Generation power plant to the Stillwater Utilities Authority (SUA) in Oklahoma. The power station, which will consist of three Wartsila 50SG engines running on natural gas, will be used to help integrate wind and solar generation in the state.

‘When the wind stops blowing and the sun goes down, we need to keep up the load. Quick-starting engines are perfect for this,’ says SUA Director Dan Blankenship. The plant will also be used for peaking power.

According to Wartsila, the new plant will replace a 26 MW gas turbine built in the 1950s, and the main reason SUA opted for internal combustion engine technology was operational flexibility.

‘It takes eight hours to start our current capacity. Smart Power Generation can go from start-up to full load in just 10 minutes,’ says Blankenship.

Wartsila notes that it has years of experience in supporting wind farms with power plants in the 200 MW range in Texas and Colorado. A new 225 MW wind-integrating power station is under construction in Oregon. Wartsila's total capacity in the U.S. is some 2.4 GW.

The contract with SUA was signed in September, and equipment delivery will begin in November 2015.

For more information about how various energy resources can work together to produce more effective grids, visit the Hybrid Energy Innovations event website here.

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