Wärtsilä has commenced commercial operations of the Port Westward Unit 2 power plant near Clatskanie, Oregon, the US, for Portland General Electric (PGE).

Designed to balance wind and solar energy, the 220MW smart power generation plant provides load-following and peaking services.

PGE president and CEO Jim Piro said: "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.

Wärtsilä is also responsible for a 10-year maintenance agreement for the facility, which features 12 18MW Wärtsilä 50SG engines.

PGE new plant project manager Rick Tetzloff said: "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.

"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."