Wärtsilä has secured the second major contract from the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), a river authority that provides wholesale power to the Texas power grid.

In 2022, the Finnish company received a contract from LCRA for ten Wärtsilä engines with 190MW capacity, for the new Timmerman Power Plant, located near Maxwell, Texas.

The current order is for ten additional Wärtsilä 50SG engines that will double the Texas power plant’s earlier output, bringing the total capacity to 380MW.

The new Timmerman power plant will supply the additional capacity required to support LCRA`s customers, the Texas power grid and the Texas electrical grid operator ERCOT.

Also, the additional capacity will help address the supply challenges created by load growth and the retirement of ageing plants in Texas.

LCRA Wholesale Power executive vice president and chief operating officer Randa Stephenson said: “We appreciate Wärtsilä’s track record in supplying efficient and reliable engines.

“The flexibility of the Wärtsilä engines is particularly important in providing the rapid ramp-up of power needed for our new peaker plant, which will be called upon to quickly come online when the other generation is not available to meet the power demand in our growing state.”

LCRA’s new plant will have two units, each powered by 10 Wärtsilä’ engines that run on natural gas, and ramp up and shut down within minutes.

The first unit is currently under construction, which is expected to begin operations in 2025, and the second unit is scheduled to be completed in 2026.

Together, the units will be able to provide power for about 100,000 homes during peak demand.

Wärtsilä said that its fast-starting 50SG engines consume little to no water, and provide dispatchable power to balance the increasing amount of intermittent renewables introduced.

Wärtsilä Energy Americas vice president Risto Paldanius said: “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this valuable follow-up order.

“It emphasises the added value that our engine technology offers as the energy sector transitions to greater efficiency and increased sustainability.

“We appreciate LCRA for selecting flexible solutions as Texas experiences increased power demand that cannot be adequately served by an ageing fleet of inflexible power plants.”