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Excellent cooperation when VEO supplies automation scope for a flexible CHP plant based on Wärtsilä engines in Bremen, Germany

The 105 MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant replaces a coal-fired power plant, thereby supporting the ongoing energy transition in Germany towards flexible solutions. VEO’s automation team has yet again designed and integrated a highly sophisticated control system for a power plant based on Wärtsilä technology.  

The public utility of Bremen, swb Erzeugung AG & Co. KG, placed the order for the plant in December 2019. The CHP plant, which is based on nine Wärtsilä W20V31SG gas engines, supplies heat to the district heating network in Bremen and feeds electricity into the German grid.

Supporting grid flexibility

When increasing levels of fluctuating renewables such as solar and wind power are incorporated in the German energy system, grid-balancing plants which quickly respond to changing demand are crucial. VEO’s control system provides this flexibility by monitoring the network and adjusting the power production of the CHP plant accordingly.

Mats Warg, Director Automation at VEO, is proud of the VEO team’s ability to transform complex requirements and functionalities into working solutions.

“Our team designed the plant’s block control to be compatible with the German spot energy market. This means the plant is set to operate according to a 24-hour schedule containing several set points. Halfway through the project, our scope was also extended to include the integration of the engine PLCs to the plant control system PCS7 over Open OS. “The team did a great job during the whole project”, Warg explains.

Seamless integration of systems and stakeholders

VEO has designed and supplied automation systems for Wärtsilä engines for decades and continued to do so in this project. The complexity of the automation was high, as is always the case in plants that produce both heat and power, and there was a multitude of stakeholders involved. Warg is especially happy with the close collaboration VEO had with the end customer, swb Erzeugung.

“The team at swb Erzeugung was very skilled in automation, which made our job all the more enjoyable. By discussing complex technical issues directly with the customer, instead of with third-party consultants, we were able to deliver precisely what the client needed”, says Warg.

In addition to having in-house expertise, VEO finds professional contractors whenever needed to make the projects run as smoothly as possible. In this project, Petri Pulliainen was leading the automation control system commissioning work on site in Bremen. Petri has made significant contributions to the success of this project commissioning stage.

“This has been a really interesting and challenging project for me. During the commissioning of the power plant, I received good support from a very experienced engineering team of VEO, and I felt that together we could overcome any obstacles in our way to starting the plant. I am looking forward to working in close cooperation with VEO on other future projects”, says Petri Pulliainen from Disegon Automation Oy.

“This project is an excellent example of how we implement and optimise equipment and systems, as well as manage coordination with all stakeholders concerned, to offer our clients the most technically efficient and sustainable solution”, Warg sums up.

VEO Thermal Power Nosto

When increasing levels of fluctuating renewables such as solar and wind power are incorporated in the German energy system, grid-balancing plants which quickly respond to changing demand are crucial.