Finnish energy technology company Wartsila has signed contracts with Italian utility Metaenergiaproduzione for the construction of six power plants.
The natural gas-powered power plants will have a total combined output of 380MW and construction started last month, with completion due for June 2022.
Five of the plants, to be installed in Gorizia, Piombino, Sulmona, Cassino and Melfi, will be delivered and installed by Wärtsilä on an engineering, procurement, and construction basis. The sixth plant, to be installed in Castellanza, will be supplied by Wärtsilä as an engineering and equipment delivery.
The plants will be powered by a total of 18 Wärtsilä 50SG and 4 Wärtsilä 31SG gas-fuelled engines and are designed to comply with environmental regulations set by the European Union.
Constantin von Wasserschleben, Chairman of the international asset management IKAV Group, a significant owner of the project company, said: “The new fast-starting plants are needed to provide flexible system balancing as Italy strives to incorporate more renewable energy, in line with its 2030 national energy, climate and decarbonisation plan. The mechanism for ensuring system stability when the share of fluctuating solar and wind power increases is Italy’s Capacity Market, which will commence during 2022. Under this protocol, Terna, the national transmission system operator (TSO) ensures system stability via long-term power supply contracts. Electricity producers undertake to deliver energy when ‘called to produce.”
“Metaenergia is committed to protecting the environment through careful energy consumption and the greater use of energy from renewable sources. We are, therefore, pleased to participate in the capacity market, for which we need the flexibility to respond quickly to changing demand. Wärtsilä’s engine technology provides this flexibility, and with very high efficiency.”
Sushil Purohit, president at Wärtsilä Energy, adds: “This framework agreement is a prime example of the rapid transition towards a renewable energy future that is taking place throughout the energy sector. Fast-starting and stopping capability is essential to provide effective system balancing when increased levels of solar and wind power, which are inherently variable in their supply, are introduced. Wärtsilä’s thermal balancing solutions enable the shift to renewables, with flexible and affordable energy for our customers, and help Italy in its journey toward a more sustainable energy system.”
Wärtsilä has delivered 1,411MW of power plant capacity to Italy, of which 709MW are today covered by Wärtsilä long-term service agreements.