Omaha Public Power District has taken another important step in its Power with Purpose project to add 400 to 600 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar generation and up to 600 MW of backup, modern natural gas to the utility’s generation portfolio.
The utility has selected nine Wärtsilä 18V50DF internal combustion engines (RICE) to power OPPD’s new Standing Bear Lake Station in Douglas County, one of two gas plants that will serve as backup to the coming solar generation. Like OPPD’s Turtle Creek Station going up in Sarpy County, Standing Bear Lake Station will be used as a peaking station, which means that the plant will run only as needed, per market conditions (estimated at less than 15% of the time).
RICE technology converts natural gas into energy to drive a generator, which produces electricity. These natural gas internal combustion engines Wärtsilä will provide can also run on light fuel oil, adding fuel flexibility. They are capable of running on a 15% hydrogen/natural gas blend in support of future technology advancements. The RICE engines offer fast start-up to rapidly address the influx of renewables and the changing generation needs of the electrical grid.
The generation capacity Power with Purpose will build is needed to maintain reliability and resiliency of the system as our communities grow, while significantly positioning OPPD on a path to meet our net zero carbon goal in 2050.
Earlier this month, OPPD announced it had selected Siemens Energy to provide two SGT6-5000F combustion turbines to power Turtle Creek Station, a simple-cycle turbine facility. The turbine technology converts natural gas into energy to drive a generator, which produces electricity. The modern natural gas turbines from Siemens Energy are designed to also run on light fuel oil, adding fuel source resiliency. And they are capable of running on a 30% hydrogen/natural gas blend or biodiesel in support of future technology advancements to further decarbonization of OPPD’s generation assets. The turbines offer low emissions that help OPPD meet its targets and avoid the purchase of additional air pollution control devices. Like the RICE engines, these turbines also ramp up quickly to supplement renewable energy and meet the changing generation needs of the grid.
Construction of Turtle Creek and Standing Bear Lake Stations will be complete and the plants will be energized in 2023. Read more about Power with Purpose at OPPDCommunityConnect.com.