Wind power plant supplied by Wärtsilä now operational in Oregon, USA

The Port Westward Unit 2 power plant, supplied by Wärtsilä for Portland General Electric (PGE), reached commercial operation near Clatskanie, Oregon on December 30, 2014. The 220 MW Smart Power Generation plant is designed to balance wind and solar energy, as well as provide load-following and peaking services.

“With the growing amount of variable renewable power coming online, this type of flexible resource is essential in helping us continue to provide reliable service to our customers in an increasingly complex environment,” said Jim Piro, PGE’s president and CEO.

The power station includes 12 Wärtsilä 50SG engines, running on natural gas. With an output of 18 MW, the Wärtsilä 50SG is the largest gas engine in the world. Wärtsilä’s contract with PGE includes a long-term maintenance agreement of ten years.

Fast-reacting capacity is needed to balance sudden fluctuations in the renewable energy supply in real-time. Wärtsilä’s power plants have an extensive track record of such operation in Kansas, Colorado and Texas. Smart Power Generation technology helps utilities reach their targets for renewable energy. Agile generation not only supports, but enables more wind and solar power.

“Port Westward Unit 2’s advanced technology and unique configuration allows PGE to ramp the plant up to full load in less than 10 minutes,” said Rick Tetzloff, PGE’s project manager for the new plant. “This flexibility allows us to adjust quickly when renewable energy – like wind and solar – rise and fall with natural variability. And it also means that on peak demand days, our customers benefit from increased reliability.”

PGE’s latest large-scale wind project went online in Washington State in December. The Tucannon River Wind farm consists of 116 wind turbines with capacity of 267 megawatts. The new wind farm helped PGE meet the 2015 goal for Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which calls for PGE to supply 15 percent of the electricity used by its customers from qualified renewable resources by 2015 and 25 percent by 2025.

Wärtsilä’s total installed capacity in the United States is approximately 2400 MW.