The technology group Wärtsilä has successfully handed over two new gas engine plants ordered by Centrica, a British multi-national energy and services company. The project is in line with the company’s strategy for de-centralised power production and will ease the integration of intermittent renewable capacity, notably solar and wind power. Wärtsilä was selected to deliver Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) solutions for both sites, located at Brigg and Peterborough in the UK. The orders were booked in January 2017.
The two 50 MW plants will balance the stability of the grid and together will generate enough electricity to supply 100,000 homes. The two-minute fast-starting flexibility of the Wärtsilä solution will support local peaks in demand and the inevitable fluctuations in supply from renewable sources. Operational flexibility provided by Wärtsilä ensures having energy available when the supply from renewables drops.
The UK is the leading country in shaping the electricity markets and Centrica is one of its leading operators. Today, renewable power sources provide roughly a quarter of the country’s total generation capacity, compared to five percent in 2006, and the share is increasing all the time. To support this trend, fast-starting, flexible generation is essential.
The two plants will each utilise five Wärtsilä 34SG engines running on natural gas and have now entered commercial operation.