Wärtsilä says it is the first company to offer utility-scale solar hybrid plants. Its first such project will be a retrofit hybrid plant (illustrated) in Jordan. It combines a solar PV farm combined with an IPP4 unit, a 250 MW ‘Smart Power Generation’ plant consisting of sixteen Wärtsilä 50DF engines. 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 solar array will reduce the carbon footprint of the power plant by saving fuel during the daytime, an arrangement that is possible because of the operating ultra-flexibility Wärtsilä claims for its ‘smart’ power unit, enabling it to work in synchronisation with the solar plant.

Wärtsilä expects rapid growth in its solar business, aiming at annual sales of €300 million by 2020. Target customers for the
company’s new solar offerings are utilities, independent power producers (IPPs) and industrial customers. The focus areas include Africa, the Middle-East, Latin America and South East Asia. Wärtsilä intends to acquire its PV modules for the EPC projects only
from leading module suppliers.

“Large-scale solar is a big business, with the installed base expected to grow four-fold to 450 GW by 2025" commented Javier Cavada, president of Wärtsilä Energy Solutions.