Wärtsilä signed its first Asset Management Agreement for a PV power plant. The company will assume full responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Essakane solar plant in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso. The solar plant shares a control system with a thermal power plant. Operative co-ordination to maximize the production of the two plants is key in the new agreement.
The seven-year agreement includes the daily operation of the solar plant, preventive, scheduled and corrective maintenance, cleaning of the modules and coordination of operations with those of a thermal power plant using the same control system. The new asset management agreement seamlessly complements the EPC agreement Wärtsilä signed in March 2017 for the solar power plant.
Wärtsilä's task is to optimize the production of the PV plant and make sure that the thermal plant delivers effective, efficient and stable power with unsurpassed performance. In parallel, the thermal plant, which operates on eleven Wärtsilä 32 engines, retains a sufficient number of engines in stand-by mode to cover potential fluctuations in the PV solar energy production.
Maximizing the PV plant's production means that less heavy fuel oil is needed for the thermal plant, reducing both fuel costs and environmental impacts.
The local operations of the PV plant in Burkina Faso are remotely supported by Wärtsilä Expertise Centers which continuously monitor the plant parameters and alert in potential problem situations that may arise in the day-to-day operation of the facility.