Wärtsilä combined heat and power plant helps Germany to reach its green energy goals

Source: press release, 16 February 2021

Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden AG power plant in Mainz, Germany, delivered by Wärtsilä
Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden AG power plant in Mainz, Germany, delivered by Wärtsilä (photo: Wärtsilä Corporation)

The recently completed combined heat and power (CHP) plant supplied by technology group Wärtsilä to Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden (KMW) in Germany has been officially handed over for commencement of commercial operations. The handover took place on 23 December, allowing municipal energy provider KMW to reliably provide 100 MW of electrical power. The CHP plant feeds the excess heat generated during power generation into the Mainz district heating network. From this, Mainz customers are supplied with sufficient heat to supply around 40,000 modern single-family homes.

The state-of-the-art plant operates with ten gas-fuelled Wärtsilä 34SG engines. The operational flexibility of the plant enables KMW to start and stop the engines without limitations as fast as in 2.5 minutes. This provides essential grid balancing support as the power system incorporates ever increasing renewable sources, namely wind and solar. It also allows KMW to operate in the short-term balancing markets, since power output can be quickly adjusted to respond to fluctuations in the power demand, as signalled by the electricity price.

As part of its climate action plan, the German government has committed to increasing the share of electricity produced by CHP plants to 25% of the total electricity production by 2025. Germany, like the European Union, aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2050. It has set the preliminary target of cutting emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

“This commencement of commercial operations for the Wärtsilä CHP plant provides us with a modern, agile, low-carbon system capable of utilising green energy assets to the full. Fast acting power generation is essential in today’s energy markets, and this plant meets all our requirements in this respect,” comments Jörg Höhler, CTO/Member-Mgmt Board, Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden AG.

“With this plant, we are proud to be supporting Germany’s ambitious transition to a green energy future with extensive use of renewables. Flexible engines are an ideal partner for renewables, and they help future-proof our customer’s investment allowing them to participate in the volatile electricity markets,” adds Pekka Tolonen, Energy Business Director, Europe, Wärtsilä.

Wärtsilä supplied and built the plant on a full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract. The scope also includes a comprehensive 15-year maintenance agreement that guarantees the plant’s availability and reliability. The services provided include on-site support and remote online monitoring conducted via Wärtsilä’s asset diagnostics and expert analyses. This ensures sufficient capacity at all times, especially during periods of high demand in winter.