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Wärtsilä enters solar energy business

Wärtsilä has announced that it is entering the solar energy business by offering utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions with the first project to be built in Jordan.

Caption: Wärtsilä’s first solar project in Jordan combines an existing 250 Smart Power Generation engine power plant and a 46 MW solar PV plant. The idea of the solar hybrid solution is to save fuel at daylight hours (photo courtesy Wärtsilä).

Caption: Wärtsilä’s first solar project in Jordan combines an existing 250 Smart Power Generation engine power plant and a 46 MW solar PV plant. The idea of the solar hybrid solution is to save fuel at daylight hours (photo courtesy Wärtsilä).

Finland-headed marine and energy technology major Wärtsilä has announced that it is entering the solar energy business by offering utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions.

According to a statement, the new solutions includes solar PV power plants of 10 MW and above, and hybrid power plants comprising solar PV plants and internal combustion engines.

Both solutions are offered with full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) delivery. Wärtsilä’s first solar project will be built in Jordan.

We are excited to expand our portfolio with new sustainable innovations and help our customers reduce their carbon emissions. Large-scale solar is a big business, with the installed base expected to grow four-fold to 450 GW by 2025. Our competitive edge builds on three things: global EPC capability, a wide sales and service network, and an existing customer base in 176 countries, said Javier Cavada, President of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.

Rapid growth in emerging markets anticipated

Wärtsilä expects rapid growth in solar business, resulting in annual sales of 300 million euros in 2020. Target customers for Wärtsilä’s solar solutions are utilities, independent power producers (IPPs) and industrial customers.

The focus areas include Africa, the Middle-East, Latin America and South East Asia. Wärtsilä will acquire the solar PV modules for the EPC projects from leading module suppliers.

Wärtsilä is the first company to offer utility-scale solar hybrid plants. The hybrid solution couples a solar PV park with an ultra-flexible Wärtsilä Smart Power Generation power plant. The two units operate in synchronisation to reduce the engines’ fuel consumption.

First project in Jordan

Wärtsilä’s first solar project is a retrofit hybrid plant in Jordan. It combines a solar PV farm with IPP4, a 250 MW Smart Power Generation plant comprising sixteen Wärtsilä 50DF engines, delivered to AES Jordan in 2014.

Wärtsilä’s EPC scope includes 46 MW of solar modules, covering an area of 81 hectares, as well as inverters, switchgear, control systems and overhead transmission lines. The value of the order has not been disclosed.

The solar unit will reduce the carbon footprint of the power plant by saving fuel during the daytime. Experience has shown we can trust Wärtsilä’s EPC capability. We consider Wärtsilä to be a partner with a reputation for quality, said Meftaur Rahman, President and CEO of AES Jordan.

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