Finland-based power generation technology provider Wartsila has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power to develop two flexible gas power plant projects in the US.

The power plants are expected to as large as 450 megawatts (MW) each.

While Southern Power will be responsible for the project development, Wärtsilä will offer technical and commercial support.

The two companies will develop the power plants jointly and Wärtsilä’s scope in the project will include extended equipment supply.

Southern Power President and CEO Buzz Miller said: “This agreement is an early stage in a lengthy process, but we believe this technology could be an excellent solution for our customers, and for many others in the marketplace that we hope to serve through this relationship.”

However, further details of the two flexible gas power plants are yet to be disclosed by the companies.

The development of flexible gas power plant projects would be in line with Southern Power’s overall business strategy of strengthening its wholesale business in the US.

Its business strategy is aimed at acquiring and constructing generating assets that are substantially covered by long-term contracts.

Southern Power is a one of the leading companies in the development, installation and operation of electric power facilities in the US.

Currently, it owns and operates 10 combined-cycle and combustion-turbine natural gas-fueled power plants that have a capacity to produce over 9,000 MW across five states.

The MoU with Southern Power is expected to strengthen Wärtsilä’s footprint in the US. Wärtsilä has signed contracts signed with the cities of Denton and Tallahassee over the past 12 months.

Wärtsilä North America market development director Jussi Heikkinen said: “The intention of Southern Power to invest in developing large projects with our flexible gas technology is a major milestone for our systematic market development in the USA.”

In January, Southern Power signed an agreement with Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES) to jointly develop and construct approximately 3,000MW of wind projects in the US.

Image: Caption: The agreement was signed by Javier Cavada, President of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions and Bob Schaffeld, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Southern Power. Photo courtesy of Wärtsilä.