Wartsila has signed a major contract to supply a 225MW smart power generation plant to Denton Municipal Electric, the locally-owned utility for the City of Denton, Texas.

The plant will provide balancing power to the community, which is moving towards a green, low emissions power system, aiming to have 70 % of its energy produced from renewables by early 2019 as part of the Renewable Denton plan.

Wärtsilä's scope of delivery is engineering and equipment (EEQ). The power plant includes twelve 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50SG engines operating on natural gas. The value of the order is approximately EUR 100 million. The contract is included in Wärtsilä's order book for the third quarter of 2016.  The equipment will be delivered during the second half of 2017, and the plant is scheduled to begin commercial operations in July 2018.

The City of Denton is a leader in integrating renewable energy to its power system. On May 1, 2009, the city announced that it would receive more than 40% of its energy from wind power – an achievement recognized by the American Public Power Association and the U.S. Department of Energy, which awarded Denton Municipal Electric its Wind Power Award in 2011.  In its quest to continue its leadership position regarding the use of renewable energy, Denton intends to have 70% of its electricity supply produced by wind and solar technologies by 2019.  Because of the fluctuations in the supply from renewables, Wärtsilä's internal combustion engine technology will be used to balance the output. The Wärtsilä solution will decrease the city's emissions by 78%, deliver reliable, affordable electricity to its customers, and save hundreds of millions of dollars in electricity production costs.

"Denton is changing the electricity generation paradigm by using renewables as our baseload power, and then using highly efficient, quick-starting generation, as needed, when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.  That's where Wärtsilä and their flexible power generation comes in. The ability of the plant to quickly start and stop is just one of the many reasons why we chose the Wärtsilä technology over gas turbines. In addition to enabling our growth in renewables, Wärtsilä can quickly deliver power generation with very low emissions, which is something that the citizens of Denton highly value," says Mike Grim, Executive Manager at Denton Municipal Electric.

"We are absolutely thrilled that Denton has chosen to rapidly increase its share of renewables. Our flexible power plant technology is a perfect match for renewables. We provide balancing power when wind and solar aren't available. This contract also shows that our systematic market development approach in the USA is working," says Dan Shelledy, Business Development Manager, Wärtsilä North America.

The power plant, known as the Denton Energy Center, will be located in an industrial park in Denton.  It will provide electricity for the city's industrial, residential and commercial needs. When operational, this will be one of the largest power plants in North America using Wärtsilä internal combustion engines.