Integrating renewable energy sources into the electrical power grid can be challenging to say the least. One of the biggest issues regarding this integration is the fact that solar and wind power as such can be interrupted and this in turn affects the stability of the overall output to the consumer.
Wärtsilä will supply a new 56 MW Smart Power Generation plant to the Stillwater Utilities Authority (SUA) in Oklahoma, U.S.A. It will be balancing out wind and solar generation and will in essence be a peaking power station distributing energy in times of need. According to an article in the Diesel & Gas Turbine Worldwide, they will be replacing a 26 MW gas turbine built in the 1950’s. The plant will allegedly run on three Wärtsilä 50SG natural gas engines.
In Oklahoma 14.8% of the electricity generated in 2013 was wind power, and as per die Diesel & Gas Turbine Worldwide, this state has more than 1700 active wind turbines with over 1300 MW capacity making it sixth among all American states.
Wärtsilä was selected because of the flexibility of its engines and naturally because of its practical experience in similar renewable integration projects in other parts of the US.
The official start of the project is planned for next year, with the delivery of equipment scheduled for November 2015.