To boost power supply availability for its customers in Raton, New Mexico, USA, Arkansas River Power Authority has bought a 7 MWe gas fired peaking power plant from Wärtsilä to serve as intermediate peaking and back-up for a 7.5 MWe coal fired power plant. According to Wärtsilä the Raton plant will enable ARPA to overcome critical issues such as output, emissions and continued peak performance.

The pre-engineered package, based on a 20V34SG gas engine, will be installed during the first quarter of 2003. The power unit is one of the company’s well known 18V34SG engines, among the first reciprocating engine based generators to be tailored to the needs of the larger gas fired peaking market, upgraded by the addition of two cylinders. It is expected to be in operation for up to 5000 hours per year.

The Raton plant is situated 6 700 feet above sea level. Wärtsilä won the contract partly because of its experience in supplying plant designed to work reliably and up to its ISO performance specification at high altitudes and partly because it could promise a short implementation time and low operating costs.