Wartsila to help Hawaii add more solar with 50-MW smart power plant
One of Hawaii's existing solar power plants. Author: Official US Navy Page. License: Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic
Oct 27, 2014 - Finnish company Wartsila Corp (HEL:WRT1V) said today it will build a 50-MW Smart Power Generation plant on Hawaii’s island of Oahu to facilitate the integration of more solar capacity.
The ship and power plant engine maker will implement the project under a contract with Hawaiian Electric Company. The planned power station will comprise six 34DF engines that will run on a biofuel blend, including liquid fuels and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
With the construction of the facility, Hawaiian Electric seeks to lower the island’s dependence on oil and coal-based generation. “We need to transform our generation portfolio to be more flexible and quick-starting in order to integrate more renewable energy, especially solar power,” said Jack Shriver, Hawaiian Electric senior engineer. He said that internal combustion engines (ICE) are a perfect fit as they are fast-reacting, efficient and can use multiple fuel.
The project needs to be approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. It is expected to be completed in 2017.
Hawaii has set an official goal to increase the share of renewables in its power mix to 25% in 2020 from 15% in 2015. Hawaiian Electric alone is already surpassing 18% and it recently submitted a plan that would help exceed 65% by 2030.
Wartsila has previously installed two power plants totalling 38 MW on the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Maui. The company’s total installed power generation capacity in the US amounts to 2,400 MW.