Cogeneration, On-Site Power

MTU Onsite gen-sets powering fully islanded power plant in Mexico

Rolls-Royce Power Systems has delivered MTU Onsite Energy gas and diesel gensets for a self-contained Mexican power plant that supports a giant pork processing facility in Puebla.

The 7.7-MW power plant, which is fully islanded because of a lack of grid capacity in the region, includes four new MTU Onsite Energy Series 4000 gas generators and one diesel generator. This is the first off-grid solution of its kind for MTU in the Americas.

“As the customer has to rely 100 percent on his own grid, the challenge was to deliver a complete solution which ensures grid stability on a high level,” Alfredo Carrasco, Latin American senior sales manager of MTU Onsite Energy gas power systems, said in a statement. “Therefore, the reliability and efficiency of the MTU Onsite Energy systems were major factors in the decision of the customer. The ability of the team to meet the customer’s stringent requirements of gas, diesel and an integrated control system from a single supplier also contributed to us being awarded this project.”

Local distributed energy systems expert, Electriz, S.A. de C.V., was awarded the business, leading engineering, procurement and construction for the project, as well as operation and ongoing maintenance of the power plant.

The four gas units are the 20-cylinder Series 4000 natural gas systems, capable of handling the pork processing facility’s altitude of 8,000 feet above sea level with the lowest derating, ensuring maximum power availability at the site. In a second phase, it is planned to use the heat out of the exhaust gas, the oil cooler and the mixture cooler to produce steam and hot water which can be used in the production processes.

A single 16-cylinder Series 4000 diesel generator system with an electrical output of 2 MW is tasked with absorbing greater load blocks than the natural gas units, offering long-term stability to the power plant. The diesel unit will run continuously with loads as low as 10 percent to minimize fuel consumption, allowing the natural gas units to produce more energy.

MTU Onsite Energy’s MCS master control panel integrates plant control and remote operation, and all systems run in isolation from the power grid, providing reliable, stable and efficient electrical power to the entire facility.

The Puebla pork processing facility’s power plant will use three different fuel sources, including biogas from livestock waste in a later stage. With the help of the MTU Onsite Energy systems, the plant will have the ability to double its power capacity in the future.

The customer already owns and operates a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at a nearby facility using a medium-speed gas generator unit from Rolls-Royce. 

Rolls-Royce is the parent company of MTU Onsite Energy.

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On-site Power is one the content tracks offered when POWERGEN International happens Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans.