Omaha Public Power District moved nine Wärtsilä reciprocating internal combustion engines to the Standing Bear Lake Station as part of a project to add two natural gas-fueled balancing plants to its system.

The plants are part of the utility’s Power with Purpose initiative, which is planned to add 1,200 MW of solar and natural gas generation. The natural gas generation plants will be used as needed, per market conditions (estimated to be about 15% of the time). 

Specialized large equipment movers were used for the moving effort, which took place over nine nights in September.

Loaded on a trailer, the engines measure around 248’ long by 14’ wide and 19’ tall. The trailer and engine combined will weigh in at 796,000 pounds. The engines were shipped from Italy and then by rail to Nebraska.

Commonwealth Electric employees monitor the engine as it wait for the engine to pass underneath a raised traffic signal. The new natural gas plant is part of OPPD’s Power with Purpose initiative that will diversify the utility’s generation portfolio with solar and natural gas. Credit: OPPD

In late fall, two Siemens simple-cycle combustion turbines and generators will be moved to the other new natural gas generation balancing station location, in Sarpy County. Both plants are slated to be completed by 2024.

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