Wärtsilä will supply six flexible power plants operating on natural gas, with a total combined output of 380 MW to different locations in Italy, by June 2022. The global company has reached a framework agreement with Metaenergiaproduzione, a member of the Italian Metaenergia Group. Execution of the project started in June 2021.
More into details, five of the plants, to be installed in Gorizia, Piombino, Sulmona, Cassino and Melfi, will be delivered and installed by Wärtsilä on an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. The sixth plant, to be installed in Castellanza, will be supplied by Wärtsilä as an engineering and equipment (EEQ) delivery. The plants will be powered by a total of 18 Wärtsilä 50SG and 4 Wärtsilä 31SG gas-fuelled engines and are designed to comply with the most stringent environmental regulations set by the European Union.
Wärtsilä gas power plants operate on natural gas
They feature high efficiency at any load, providing plant efficiency levels of up to 50 percent in simple cycle, and up to 54 percent in combined cycle mode. Their flexibility is highlighted by the fact that they can reach full output power within minutes of the start signal, which is an essential benefit in systems that wish to integrate higher levels of renewable energy.
Looking at the targets to decarbonisation
«The new fast-starting plants are needed to provide flexible system balancing as Italy strives to incorporate more renewable energy, in line with its 2030 national energy, climate and decarbonisation plan. The mechanism for ensuring system stability when the share of fluctuating solar and wind power increases is Italy’s Capacity Market, which will commence during 2022. Under this protocol, Terna, the national transmission system operator (TSO) ensures system stability via long-term power supply contracts. Electricity producers undertake to deliver energy when ‘called to produce’», said Constantin von Wasserschleben, Chairman of the international asset management IKAV Group, a significant owner of the project company. «Metaenergia is committed to protecting the environment through careful energy consumption and the greater use of energy from renewable sources. We are, therefore, pleased to participate in the capacity market, for which we need the flexibility to respond quickly to changing demand. Wärtsilä’s engine technology provides this flexibility, and with very high efficiency».