Wärtsilä will operate and maintain a Bahamian power plant it helped build and commission into operation.
The 132-MW Clifton Pier Station A was taken into commercial operation last month. It replaces retiring power generation capacity on the island.
Wärtsilä was hired for engineering, procurement and construction leadership and signed a two-year O&M agreement with plant owner Bahamas Power and Light Co. The Finland-based Wärtsilä will transition, train and develop BPL’s work force for eventually managing the plant.
The plant was completed on a fast track basis, going from contract signing to commissioning in just 12 months.
“Wärtsilä’s performance has been outstanding, and we are very grateful to the company for their support, professionalism and expertise in delivering and constructing the plant so quickly. We are now extending this cooperation through the O&M agreement, which will enable the plant to be expertly operated and maintained until such time as our own staff are trained to take over,” said Whitney Heastie, CEO, Bahamas Power and Light Company.
Clifton Pier Station A runs on seven Wärtsilä 50 engines, running on heavy fuel. The engines can be converted to operate on gas when it becomes locally available, which will further reduce the operational costs of the power plant.
“Lifecycle support to the customer is at the heart of Wärtsilä’s strategy, and the O&M agreement is an important part of that commitment,” said Mikael Backman, the company’s energy business director for its Americas North division. “The efficiency of the Wärtsilä power plant will considerably lower BPL’s fuel costs, and the fuel and operational flexibility of the engines will deliver notable benefits.”
The Wärtsilä engines can play a balancing role, ensuring system stability to offset the inevitable fluctuations in supply from wind and solar sources.
The electricity generated by the plant represents an estimated 50 percent of the projected 2020 summer peak load on the island of New Providence where it is located.