Wartsila to supply gas-fired engines for 225-MW plant in Denton, Texas

Wärtsilä said Sept. 21 that it has signed a contract to supply a 225-MW Smart Power Generation plant to Denton Municipal Electric, the utility for the City of Denton, Texas.

The plant will provide balancing power to the community, which is moving towards a green, low-emissions power system, aiming to have 70% of its energy produced from renewables by early 2019 as part of its “Renewable Denton” plan. Wärtsilä’s scope of delivery is engineering and equipment (EEQ). The power plant will include twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50SG engines operating on natural gas.

The value of the order for the company is approximately EUR 100 million. The contract is included in Wärtsilä’s order book for the third quarter of 2016. The equipment will be delivered during the second half of 2017, and the plant is scheduled to begin commercial operations in July 2018.

In 2009, the city announced that it would receive more than 40% of its energy from wind power. In its quest to continue its leadership position regarding the use of renewable energy, Denton intends to have 70% of its electricity supply produced by wind and solar technologies by 2019.

“Denton is changing the electricity generation paradigm by using renewables as our baseload power, and then using highly efficient, quick-starting generation, as needed, when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. That’s where Wärtsilä and their flexible power generation comes in. The ability of the plant to quickly start and stop is just one of the many reasons why we chose the Wärtsilä technology over gas turbines. In addition to enabling our growth in renewables, Wärtsilä can quickly deliver power generation with very low emissions, which is something that the citizens of Denton highly value,” said Mike Grim, Executive Manager at Denton Municipal Electric.

“Our flexible power plant technology is a perfect match for renewables. We provide balancing power when wind and solar aren’t available. This contract also shows that our systematic market development approach in the USA is working,” said Dan Shelledy, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä North America.

The power plant, known as the Denton Energy Center, will be located in an industrial park in Denton.  It will provide electricity for the city’s industrial, residential and commercial needs. When operational, this will be one of the largest power plants in North America using Wärtsilä internal combustion engines.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.