The recently completed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant supplied by the technology group Wärtsilä to Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden (KMW), in Germany, has been officially handed over for commencement of commercial operations. It’s allowing municipal energy provider KMW to reliably provide 100 MW of electrical power. The CHP plant feeds the excess heat generated during power generation into the Mainz district heating network. From this, Mainz customers are supplied with sufficient heat to supply around 40,000 modern single-family homes.
Wärtsilä supplied and built the plant on a full Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract. The state-of-the-art plant operates with ten gas-fuelled Wärtsilä 34SG engines. The operational flexibility of the plant enables KMW to start and stop the engines without limitations as fast as in 2.5 minutes. This provides essential grid balancing support as the power system incorporates ever increasing renewable sources, namely wind and solar. It also allows KMW to operate in the short-term balancing markets, since power output can be quickly adjusted to respond to fluctuations in the power demand, as signalled by the electricity price.
As part of its climate action plan, the German government has committed to increasing the share of electricity produced by CHP plants to 25 per cent of the total electricity production by 2025. Germany, like the European Union, aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2050. It has set the preliminary target of cutting emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.