Finland’s energy technology company Wartsila has signed a 10-year maintenance and operations agreement for a 50 MW power plant in Hawaii.

The Schofield Generating Station is primarily used to meet peak loads on the island of Oahu, 40 kilometres from Honolulu.  

The agreement with Hawaiian Electric Co covers operational support, maintenance planning, major maintenance, quarterly site audits, industrial control systems, cybersecurity patching services, and scheduled OEM spare parts.

Wartsila built the plant, which runs on biodiesel with ultra-low sulphur diesel as a secondary fuel and has the ability to use biogas or natural gas in the future.

It will also provide ‘black start’ capability, which improves resilience in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes or tsunamis.  

The plant is intended to boost flexible power generation and support Hawaii in reaching its target of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2045. On Oahu, the installed capacity of solar PV systems is the highest per capita in the US.

Wartsila said it is therefore crucial to have fast-starting generation capability that can respond to changes in wind and solar generation.

“Ensuring reliable and efficient operations of the plant is important for the island’s energy resilience and achievement of renewable energy goals,” said Michael DeCaprio, Power Generation Manager at Hawaiian Electric.

Walter Reggente, vice-president for Americas at Wärtsilä Services, added: “We are thrilled to work with Hawaiian Electric Company to maximise their revenue retention through smart technologies and digital services. At the same time, we want to help them to comply with cyber legislation and to ensure power generation, even under exceptional natural conditions.”