Wärtsilä-built flexible 94 MW power plant in Dresden is ready to support Germany’s energy transition

Source: press release, 8 December 2022

The new, state-of-the-art gas engine CHP plant in Dresden generates 90 MW of electricity and 84 MW of heat, and is also black start capable
The new, state-of-the-art gas engine CHP plant in Dresden generates 90 MW of electricity and 84 MW of heat, and is also black start capable (photo: SachsenEnergie AG/Oliver Killig)

The flexible Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, supplied and built by the technology group Wärtsilä for the German public utility SachsenEnergie, has been commissioned and handed over for commercial operation. The plant was extensively tested to verify its reliability and performance before the hand-over in November 2022. It will supply both 94 MW of electrical power and 84 MW of district heating for the city of Dresden.

The highly automated plant operates with eight Wärtsilä 31SG engines running on natural gas. The engines have the highest efficiency in their class and feature outstanding flexibility. Full output can be reached in 5 minutes or less from start-up, and they can synchronise with the grid in less than 30 seconds to provide immediate balancing capability. This is important, both for the utility’s participation in balancing power markets, and to facilitate greater integration of renewables – solar and wind power – into the system.

“This greatly strengthens our generating capacity. After intensive testing and validation, we are confident that we can provide high efficiency for the winter while at the same time providing the necessary flexibility. The energy systems are undergoing a major upheaval. The energy transition with the goal of decarbonisation, i.e. the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, requires innovative approaches for a sustainable and secure energy supply – this plant is part of the solution,” comments Dr Frank Brinkmann, CEO of SachsenEnergie AG.

The plant was delivered by Wärtsilä on an engineering, procurement, and construction basis. Wärtsilä will also maintain the facility under a Guaranteed Asset Performance agreement for 10 years, with a 5-year extension option. The performance targets are determined based on measured data. Wärtsilä guarantees that these targets are met and maintained throughout the duration of the agreement.

“We are delighted to support SachsenEnergie in providing sustainable, safe, efficient, and affordable power and district heating generation. Future-proofed, flexible gas engine technology is the best means to unlock the full potential of renewables, and to support the ambitious energy transition in Germany. We are very proud of the partnership with SachsenEnergie. Through projects like these, the journey towards 100% renewable energy future gains pace,” says Kenneth Engblom, Vice President, Africa & Europe, Wärtsilä Energy.