Five INNIO Jenbacher Gas Engines Complement District Heating Plant

Source: 3/10/2021, Location: Europe

• Heavy haulage delivers INNIO gas engines for the new GAMOR power plant
• Five fast start engines supply power for around 65,000 households as well as district heating for 13,000 homes and … • ensure continuity of supply in the event of an impending blackout
• Flexible combined heat and power (CHP) plants play a key technological role in the energy transition

A heavy haul truck with 4+10 axles that set off from the Austrian municipality of Jenbach will reach its destination in Saarbrücken, Germany. Its cargo for this journey of nearly 470 miles (750 km), complete with escort: an INNIO Jenbacher gas engine weighing around 93 metric tons and with almost 100 times more power than a standard car engine. A further four engines are due to follow and will form the centerpiece of the new gas engine power plant Romerbrucke (GAMOR) run by utility company Energie SaarLorLux.

The journey from Jenbach to Saarbrucken via Munich, Nuremberg, Würzburg, and Frankfurt, with some stretches covered at speeds of just 3 mph (5 km/h), represents a major logistical achievement. This is borne out by the fact that roundabouts, roadworks, and weak bridges have to be circumvented and nostopping and no-parking zones created so that all five engines plus auxiliary equipment can reach their destination by March 16 as planned.

Phaseout of coal with the new 50 MW GAMOR gas power plant The district heating plant Romerbrucke operated by Energie SaarLorLux in Saarbrucken was converted to gas as its primary fuel in 2003. The commissioning of the additional, new gas power plant in 2022 will result in the complete phaseout of coal which lately has only been used to cover peak loads.

At the heart of the new gas engine power plant Römerbrücke (GAMOR) are five Jenbacher J920 FleXtra gas engines with an output totaling 50 MW and an overall efficiency of up to 92 percent. In the years ahead, GAMOR will be able to supply around 65,000 households with electricity and 13,000 homes with district heating.

Germany intends to phase out coal entirely by 2038 at the latest; in this coming year alone, coal-fired power plants with a total output of 12.5 GW are projected to go offline. Due to its early phaseout of coal, the project in Saarbrucken is exemplary for Germany.

“By bringing in our new INNIO Jenbacher CHP plant, the generation of power and district heating from coal will soon be a thing of the past in Saarbrucken. In the future we’ll save more than 60,000 metric tons of CO2 a year compared to the old coal-fired facility,” said Joachim Morsch, board member and spokesman from Energie SaarLorLux, as he explained the environmental benefits of the project.

“The new GAMOR gas power plant in Saarbrucken once again highlights the significant role our Jenbacher engines have to play as a key technology in the energy transition. And we are already prepared for the next step: converting our natural gas engines to hydrogen operation, something that is already possible here and now,” stated Joachim Maier, Director of INNIO Jenbacher GmbH in Germany.

Secure power supply and perfect complement to renewable energies Because Jenbacher gas engines offer highly flexible deployment and can be ramped up to full load in less than five minutes, they are responsible for playing an important part in stabilizing the grid. Additionally, Jenbacher gas engines can help facilitate grid stabilization in the event of an impending blackout, thereby ensuring Saarbrucken residents benefit from a secure electricity supply – a task which 4,000 INNIO Jenbacher gas engines have already undertaken when Europe experienced its latest near-blackout at the beginning of this year.

The fast start capability of INNIO gas engines also makes them an excellent solution to complement renewable energies, since energy generated from renewable sources can fluctuate greatly due to the variability of weather conditions. Therefore, in addition to energy storage power systems, power plants capable of rapid start-up are required to balance out these fluctuations.

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