By Editors of Power Engineering
Wartsila, traditionally a makers of gas and fuel oil power plants, is now expanding into providing solar and battery power.
The group’s first order for solar will be for a 15-MW plant for Essakene Solar SAS to be built next to an existing 55-MW Wartsila power plant running heavy fuel oil at a gold mine in Burkina Faso. Once finished in late 2017, it will be the largest engine-solar photovoltaic hybrid power plant in Africa.
Wartsila President and CEO Jaakko Eskola said the company will “move fast into solar” and battery storage, the Financial Times reported. He said the company will announce similar deals soon, as there are opportunities in the countries Wartsila serves, both in developing countries building up grids and richer countries with a need for more flexible back-up generating capacity to supplement wind and solar.
“The winners in future will be operators who can provide hybrid energy solutions,” Eskola told the Financial Times. “We will increasingly become a service provider helping customers decide, ‘when should I run solar? When should I run battery? When should I run the engine?”