Michigan’s Marquette Board of Light and Power (MBLP) has chosen the Wärtsilä Corporation to develop a 50-MW Smart Power Generation power plant.
The contract includes three Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, which run primarily on natural gas but can operate on light fuel oil as a backup.
“We have a reliability problem due to aging coal units, no firm transmission service and the closure of a 400-MW power plant,” said Paul Kitti, MBLP executive director. “Wärtsilä’s solution is reliable, efficient, flexible in fuel choice and is also environmentally sustainable. It will support our compliance with upcoming CO2 regulations.”
The plant is expected to enter commercial operations in early 2017.
Kitti says Wärtsilä’s units’ black start capability and instant ramping will help keep lights on year round in Michigan’s upper peninsula, specifically during the winter when temperatures fall to as low as -40 Celsius
“Thanks to the ability to bring up the Smart Power Generation plant in less than 5 minutes, we will be able to follow spikes in the electricity price and sell power to the grid,” said Kitti.
MBLP is a municipal electric utility that serves about 17,000 customers in Marquette County.
Wärtsilä has an installed capacity of 4,600 MW in the U.S. and 58 GW worldwide.