Caterpillar to power new natural gas-fired power plant in Minnesota

Source:Caterpillar Inc.

Caterpillar to power new natural gas-fired power plant in Minnesota

PEORIA, IL – Caterpillar Inc. today announced that the company has been selected to install a 38.8 MW power plant in Owatonna, Minnesota. Powered by four Cat® G20CM34 generator sets, the new power plant replaces a facility that was damaged by the Straight River flooding of 2010. Owatonna Energy Station will be built, owned and operated by Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), a collective agency of 18 municipal utilities, with construction scheduled to begin in 2016.

This is the second utility scale power plant purchased by SMMPA from Caterpillar, following the purchase of the 25 MW Fairmont Energy Station, which is powered by four Cat G16CM34 generator sets. Fairmont Station was commissioned in 2014.

“We are pleased to be working with Caterpillar again on this important resource for SMMPA and its members. This project will help the agency further diversify its resource mix with additional natural gas generation, and it will be an important asset in managing future capacity and energy costs,” said Dave Geschwind, executive director and chief executive officer of SMMPA. “We value the successful working relationship we have with Caterpillar and look forward to building this new plant together.”

Ziegler Cat, Caterpillar's local dealer, will support SMMPA on the Owatonna project. “We're happy to build on our long-standing relationship with SMMPA and its members on this project, and we look forward to being part of bringing this new energy asset to the region,” said Bruce Erickson, vice president of Ziegler Cat.

Each 20-cylinder, natural gas-fueled Cat G20CM34 generator set will produce up to 10 MW of mechanical output and feature high availability, long life, low fuel and lube oil consumption, and low maintenance requirements. Designed for long-term reliable operations, the G20CM34 is equipped with the proven Cat electronic control system to ensure precise fuel delivery and world-class efficiency.

“Considering the new plant’s fast start, high efficiency and low emissions, SMMPA will be able to offer very valuable services to the local system operator. It will provide black start capability to the City of Owatonna, enabling SMMPA and the residents of Owatonna to better manage their power needs,” said Claudio Martino, regional sales director with Caterpillar. “Instead of relying on remote resources, the region can generate power in their own backyard in a reliable and cost-effective manner that will continually meet a growing demand for energy in Minnesota.”  

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