Rolls-Royce has announced a huge power generation order for South America that total 265 of its MTU-brand 16 4000 Series generator sets. The contract involves a consortium that includes contractor TSK and Rolls-Royce, who have signed an engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) contract with Prime Energía Quickstart Spa, a subsidiary of Prime Energia SpA.
The contract is for the construction of five power plants across Chile consisting of 265 MTU Onsite Energy 16V 4000 gensets. Prime Energía’s five power plants will offer a total combined capacity of 475 MW, which will be connected to Chile’s electricity grid to provide backup capacity to the country’s power supply system. Prime Energía is a subsidiary of the New York-based Glenfarne Group, LLC, a developer, owner-operator and industrial manager of energy and infrastructure assets.
The order to deliver the power plants to the first three locations has been officially placed with the consortium, with the order for the two additional plants scheduled to follow shortly thereafter. The gen-sets will be digitally connected via gateways sending data to the MTU GoManage platform to monitor and analyze system data. The power plants will be remotely monitored and controlled in real time by Prime Energía’s network operations center in Santiago.
Demand for energy in Chile is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4% over the next five years, and the country expects to benefit from the vast availability of renewable power sources. The percentage of renewable energy in the Chilean power mix is growing at a constant rate. Its share, in terms of installed generation capacity, has more than tripled since 2012, and in 2017, with a total plant capacity of around 4300 MW, was approximately 18% . By 2035, no less than 60% of the country’s electricity is expected to be produced from renewable energy, increasing to 70% by 2050. As Chile increases its reliance on weather variable renewable energy sources, this, in turn, Rolls-Royce said, has created an interest in fast-response, cost-competitive backup power sources such as the power plants in Prime Energía’s portfolio to stabilize the electricity grid.