Ground-breaking of the 46.7 MW Lea County Electric Cooperative, Inc.
(LCEC) Generation Plant, located in Lovington, New Mexico, takes place today with a ceremony at the future plant site. Wartsila's scope of supply to the plant will include five Wartsila 20V34SG generating sets running on natural gas, together with associated equipment including Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units for reducing greenhouse gas and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions. The electricity produced by the plant will be supplied to the LCEC Members and the Southwest Power Pool. Furthermore, the Wartsila engines are sized to accommodate for future output increase with minor modifications. Wartsila's generating set operation will be closely integrated with the operation of the wind farm being constructed nearby the site.
The LCEC project is the fifth such cooperative to select Wartsila's power generating solution due to its capacity to reach full plant output within five minutes from warm stand-by mode. The high simple cycle heat rate was another critical factor in the client's choice of Wartsila equipment as was the fact that the Wartsila equipment does not consume process water. With this project, Wartsila has more than 1500 MW of flexible power plant capacity, either installed or on order in the USA.
Wartsila's flexible power plant features include the ability to reach full plant output in five minutes and provide 25 percent power in two minutes. Wartsila's natural gas fueled technology has the capability to operate efficiently at low loads; a capability that can be used for providing "spinning reserve" for the system. This increases the value of the power plant. Additionally, Wartsila's flexible power plants are able to supply all commercially traded ancillary services, including black start capabilities.