Wärtsilä has been awarded the contract to supply a Smart Power Generation power plant to Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Williston, North Dakota. The contract was signed in September 2014 and the equipment will be delivered in November 2015.
Wärtsilä's Smart Power Generation power plant will be the first with internal combustion engine (ICE) technology in Basin Electric's portfolio. It will have an output of 112 MW from twelve Wärtsilä 34SG engines running on natural gas.
"The main reason is the inherent reliability and flexibility of combustion engines. They are reliable in cold environments and perform well using natural gas that is rich with ethane and propane. They also have a better heat rate than combustion turbines, which reduces fuel consumption," Basin Electric's Project Manager Josh Rossow says.
New generation capacity is needed to meet the growing electricity demand caused by the oil boom in the nearby Bakken area. "We are seeing growth of demand in all sectors, including agriculture, the oil industry and households. New flexible capacity is needed to cover the peak load demand," adds Rossow.