Powerful support

2013-05-02 - Global leader in lifecycle power solutions provider Wärtsilä has collaborated with ABB to stay one step ahead of cross-border electricity transmission regulations using cutting-edge products to support a transmission system operator for the first time in Estonia.
Across the planet renewable energy use is on the rise. Energy providers are relying more and more on diesel- and natural gas-fueled generators to balance the volatility in today’s energy market. And due to newly introduced governmental initiatives, especially in Europe, these same energy providers must ensure that their generating equipment can live up to the demands of ever-changing legislation.

As a global supplier of synchronous generators for the power generation market, ABB is at the forefront of the energy generating industry. The company focuses on meeting the changing and often stringent technology requirements of its customers, energy companies and regulators.

One such customer is global market leader in power plant solutions Wärtsilä, a major supplier of flexible base load power plants that operate on a variety of fuels. In June 2011, Wärtsilä was contracted by Estonian state-owned transmission system operator (TSO) Elering AS to build a dual fuel power plant. (A TSO is an operator that transmits electrical power from generation plants over the electrical grid to regional or local electricity distribution operators.) Elering is connected to the electricity networks in neighboring Baltic countries, Russia and Belarus, and connection to Finland is under construction for operation in the near future.

Rajiv Arora, Senior Program Manager, Wärtsilä
Using 27 dual fuel engines, the power plant will be capable of generating 250 MW divided into two distinct projects: Project I, to be completed in March 2013, will generate 110 MW and, when completed in September 2014, Project II will generate 140 MW. ABB will supply 27 synchronous generators for the power plant: 12 to Project I and 15 to Project II, generating power for around 250,000 homes.

We chose ABB as a supplier because the engines have very special specifications, and we have co-operated together to develop solutions for suitable generators,” says Wärtsilä Senior Program Manager Rajiv Arora, who is in-charge of both projects. “Our engines are coupled with ABB generators in order to generate 250 MW electricity required to support the grid."

While ABB has provided thousands of generators for diesel or gas power plants, including many for Wärtsilä over the last 20 years, this is the first time the company has collaborated with a power plant supplier to deliver to grid owners.

Mika Leppänen, Project Manager, ABB
“The difference is in the past our generators helped power plants to generate electricity and if there was a failure, there would be a power outage,” says Mika Leppänen, Project Manager at ABB for synchronous generators. “With this solution, we are able to support the TSO to manage the grid.”

Managing the grid is accomplished with Wärtsilä’s unique solution. In the past, large units had a slow start-up time and were responsible for 100 percent of the load, thus compromising system security. The 27 dual fuel engines and synchronous generators have a very fast start-up time. The whole plant can go from stand-by to full load within 10 minutes. Because each genset can independently produce power, one or several gensets can be taken offline for maintenance without losing the entire plant’s output. This way with a multi unit configuration the firm capacity of the plant can be kept at a very high level all the time despite planned or un-planned maintenance.

With regards to regulations, some countries have already initiated more demanding standards in terms of what should be the appropriate dynamic behavior of various classes of power-generating equipment. The custom-made generators allow the maximum integration compliant with Nordic regulations.

One key technical requirement is to ensure that any power generation equipment is secure and robust, offering a high level of reliability and quality. For the combustion engine applications for Wärtsilä, the ABB generators have met these requirements and hold a major role in building grid code capability.

“Collaborating with ABB provided us a compliant and efficient solution for the Estonian power plant, a first-time client,” says Arora. “From the design phase to the manufacturing and logistical phases, co-operation with ABB worked well in a normal and routinely developed fashion. We have a strong history with ABB as a partner, one that is expected to continue well into the future.”

ABB synchronous generators benefits

· With each genset able to produce about 10 MW, one or several gensets can be taken offline without losing the entire plant’s output, creating a highly efficient solution with a long life cycle.

· For the combustion engine applications for Wärtsilä, the ABB generators have met the requirements of being robust and secure, and hold a major role in building grid code capability.

· The 27 gensets have a very fast start-up time – they go up from stand-by to 100% load in less than 10 minutes.


Wärtsilä Power Plants is a major supplier of flexible base load power plants operating on various liquid and gaseous fuels. Wärtsilä also provides unique, dynamic solutions for grid stability, reserve, peaking, load following and intermittent power generation.

Diesel generator AMG 1120 LT08 DSEG