Wärtsilä will partner with low carbon energy company SSE to deliver a 50 MW / 100 MWh energy storage system in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and has signed a 5-year performance-based agreement for a 20 MW power plant combined with a 40 MW plant extension installation at a gold mine in Africa. With regards to the UK, the battery will be the first connected directly to the transmission network by SSE’s new solar and battery division and will support access to clean, reliable energy by balancing the intermittency of renewables. The order was booked to Wärtsilä’s order intake in April 2022 and the system is expected to become operational in September 2023.
The partnership marks an important step in the UK’s path towards net zero. Not only is it the first grid-scale battery project developed by SSE, but it will also help the UK to scale up energy storage to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets.
The energy storage system will support the UK’s national grid with reliable services such as wholesale market trading, crucial for balancing renewable energy generation throughout the day. The UK’s energy storage pipeline has doubled within the past year, demonstrating the growing importance of energy flexibility as the UK scales up its renewable capacity.
Wärtsilä is currently installing similar sized energy storage systems across the UK, demonstrating their commitment to supporting more renewable energy and helping the UK reach its net zero targets. Energy storage capacity will need to dramatically rise to 18 GW by 2035 to manage the transition, according to modelling from Wärtsilä.
Wärtsilä’s performance-based agreement guarantees maintaining African gold mine operations
Wärtsilä has signed a 5-year performance-based agreement for a 20 MW power plant combined with a 40 MW plant extension installation at a gold mine in Africa. The agreement was signed in March and as normal with the company’s service agreements, Wärtsilä books expected net sales for the next 24 months to its order intake and order backlog.
By guaranteeing the availability of power, Wärtsilä delivers crucial support to the mine’s operations. Matching power availability with operational demand is required, monitored and incentivised on a daily basis. The agreement further covers the generating engines’ optimised usage and fuel consumption.
“This is an isolated mine with no grid connection, so a reliable source of electricity from the captive Wärtsilä power plant is essential for maintaining the mine’s productivity and operating revenue-earning capability. After analysing the customer’s needs and how we could meet them, we developed the performance guarantee as an assurance of plant availability, while minimising fuel consumption and running hours as important cost-saving benefits. We see performance-based agreements becoming widely utilised as an effective solution for our customers,” commented Marc Thiriet, Energy Business Director, Africa West, Wärtsilä.
The power plant featuring four Wärtsilä 32 engines commenced operations in 2016, after which the extension project with a further four Wärtsilä 32 engines was added and commissioned in 2021. Wärtsilä has had an earlier Operation and Maintenance (O&M) agreement with the customer since 2017, which has now evolved into becoming this performance-based agreement.