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Wärtsilä handling EPC, engine gensets & energy storage for Virgin Islands power plant

Wärtsilä will deliver engineering, construction, dual-fuel engine and energy storage capacity for a new power plant in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The island’s Water and Power Authority has contracted the Finnish firm to handle the entire power plant project on an engineering, procurement and construction basis. The facility’s engines will burn both liquid petroleum gas and light fuel oil and also be fitted with batteries.

Wärtsilä will use its GEMS energy management platform to optimize and integrate the power generation resources. Four Wärtsilä 32LG engines will provide 36 MW of electricity capacity, while the energy storage system will add 9 MW for up to two hours.

The Virgin Islands project will be the company’s first engine/hybrid power plant sale, as well as its first installation of the LG engines. The engine’s are Wärtsilä’s first capable of burning both LPG and LFO.

“The Wärtsilä plant will provide much needed additional baseload capacity to the Island’s electricity supply. It will improve the system’s reliability, while at the same time giving us additional fuel and operational flexibility that will increase fuel efficiency and lower overall operating costs,” Lawrence Kupfer, CEO, USVI Water and Power Authority, said in a statement. “It will also reduce the dependence and environmental impact of diesel oil. The four generators are fueled by a cleaner burning fuel which will lead to reduced air emissions and enhanced overall air quality. ”

The project is scheduled to be completed and operational by spring 2022. Wärtsilä has previously supplied and installed a 21 MW power plant running primarily on propane gas to the island utility authority.

“The ability to most efficiently burn both LPG and LFO was a major factor in selecting the Wärtsilä LG engines for this project,” Edmund Phillips, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä Energy, said in a statement. “Additionally, the hybrid solution will add even more operational flexibility and will serve to improve the existing grid stability on the island.”

Wärtsilä overall has delivered about 72 GW of on-site power capacity in 180 countries.