The technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to deliver a state-of-the-art power plant and energy storage system to the US Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA). The plant will be delivered and installed on an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. It will be exceptional in that it will be capable of burning both liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and light fuel oil (LFO), while also being fitted with batteries utilising Wärtsilä's state of the art GEMS energy management platform to provide optimised energy operations. The order was booked by Wärtsilä in June 2020.The four Wärtsilä 32LG engines will deliver a total output of 36 MW, while the energy storage system will add further 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 the company's first engines capable of burning both LPG and LFO.
"The Wärtsilä plant will provide much needed additional baseload capacity to the Island's electricity supply. 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," explained Lawrence Kupfer, CEO, USVI Water and Power Authority.
"The ability to most efficiently burn both LPG and LFO was a major factor in selecting the Wärtsilä LG engines for this project. Additionally, the hybrid solution will add even more operational flexibility and will 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," commented Edmund Phillips, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä Energy.
The project is scheduled to be completed with a fully operational plant by spring 2022. Wärtsilä has previously supplied and installed a 21 MW power plant running primarily on propane gas to WAPA.