Wärtsilä’s power plants are used for a wide variety of purposes. These include base load generation for national grids and industrial needs; load following, dynamic balancing services and peak power for power systems; and fast starting grid reserves. The company’s energy solutions are tailored according to the specific requirements of its customers, utilising modular products and services.
Wärtsilä plants consist of multiple independent units, which enable very flexible operations over a broad load range. They can be expanded in size later as power production needs increase. The delivery scope is adapted to customer requirements, ranging from equipment deliveries to complete turnkey power plants, all of which are supported by Wärtsilä’s superior project management capabilities. The fuel flexibility of the solutions enables the choice and utilisation of most feasible fuels, including natural gas and many other gases, as well as most fuel oils. Also offered is the option to run on multiple fuels or to convert from heavy fuel oil to gas. Wärtsilä provides project development and financial services to help customers arrange and assemble complex projects with multiple interconnected contracts, as well as a wide palette of services to support them through the lifecycle of their installations.
The same logic is applied for the LNG terminal business. Wärtsilä is developing a range of modular products and services, and offering complete small to medium scale LNG terminals, distribution infrastructures, and liquefaction and regasification solutions. In the future, it is expected that there will be more projects where an LNG terminal is integrated with a Smart Power Generation power plant to form a complete turnkey solution, utilising gas as fuel in places where gas was not earlier available.
Focus on flexibility
The increasing level of variable renewables in many power systems has created a rapidly growing need for greater flexibility to enable the full and efficient utilisation of such renewable energy. Gas fuelled power plants are technologically the most flexible and environmentally sound alternative for the purpose of balancing renewable sources.
Of the gas power plant alternatives, Smart Power Generation power plants support the power system best by offering the highest degree of flexibility, providing major savings, and enabling an optimised response to rapid changes in variable generation. The savings are materialised throughout the system, as investments in flexible assets enable the system operators to operate less flexible coal and nuclear power plants in steadier state conditions, thereby optimising also their performance while reducing emissions.
Wärtsilä serves three main customer segments
Wärtsilä’s three main customer segments are:
- Independent Power Producers (IPP’s)
- Industrial customers.
Serving all these customers competitively requires the capability to adjust the offering to the specific needs of the customer.
Utilities supply electricity to residential, commercial and industrial end users, and typically also generate some or all of the power themselves. They invest in various types of power plants to ensure adequate load coverage in the most cost effective and reliable manner. Utilities produce the base load, the intermittent load, and the peak load, and maintain necessary reserves for contingencies. Fuel efficiency is required in all applications. In the intermittent, peak load, and reserve applications, operational flexibility (including fast starting & ramping, and a wide load range) is also necessary, as is a lower capital cost because of the fewer operating hours.
IPP’s are financial investors investing in power plants and selling the generated power to utilities. Their investments are return driven, and as with utilities, their technical requirements are dependent on the type of application.
Industrial customers are mainly private companies with production in an energy intensive factory, such as cement or iron ore production facilities. By investing in captive power, they can achieve lower energy costs and compensate for any grid reliability problems to ensure security of supply. Industrial customers have less power industry experience and, therefore, they rely on the knowledge and experience of large global power plant providers such as Wärtsilä. Wärtsilä serves the top end of this customer group, i.e. large industries requiring a relatively high electrical load.