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Benndale – Affordable, flexible and reliable power with a Wärtsilä 31SG plan

Cooperative Energy, Mississippi, USA
22.7 MW

Benndale Video Tour:

I wanted to be satisfied with the technology and the people behind it, so we visited Wärtsilä’s factory and testing facilities and met the engineers. This is not just about a product, but the people. I needed to be comfortable with everyone involved in design, installation and maintenance. I was very impressed.
Jim Compton

President Emeritus, Cooperative Energy

Benndale Becomes the Solution:

Cooperative Energy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi needed to upgrade one of its plants in order to supply affordable, flexible and reliable power in a hurricane-prone region. Wärtsilä’s comprehensive solution consists of a plant powered by two gas-fired Wärtsilä 31SG engine generating sets and covered by a 10-year service agreement.

The Wärtsilä 31SG is the first of a new generation of pure gas medium speed engines, designed to set a new benchmark in efficiency and overall emissions performance in connection with hybrid solutions.

The development of this engine is a direct result of Wärtsilä’s on-going commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of its gas engines by 15 percent, by 2020 (from 2015 levels).

The Wärtsilä 20V31SG provides 11.4 MW for 60 Hz operation at 720 RPM, or 11.8 MW for 50 Hz operation at 750 RPM. The launch of the Wärtsilä 31SG introduces a 4-stroke engine having the best fuel economy of any engine in its class. At the same time, it maintains outstanding performance across the complete operating range. Its modular design enables a significant reduction in maintenance time and costs, which improves power availability and reduces the need for spare parts.

Intermittent renewable energy generation in the United States has seen a staggering 700% increase between 2008 and 2019, with solar and wind generation accounting for around 350 million MWh of power generation in 2019. As generation increases, demand and dependence grows which expand the need for sustainability, reliability and flexibility since weather cannot be controlled. Cooperative Energy wanted an option to rapidly and efficiently switch from renewable generation to other methods since more than 432,000 homes and businesses in the state of Mississippi rely on the not-for-profit electricity cooperative for power generation. The company also operates six solar sites which demonstrates a growing reliance on the Magnolia State’s sunshine for renewable energy.

Tour Benndale: 

This year, we will take you on a virtual tour of the Benndale Power Plant which was commissioned in March 2020.  You will be able to see how the Wärtsilä 31SG engines are integrating into the Cooperative Energy renewable energy power system and ask questions about their process from installation to now.  Learn more directly from the customer and see this new generation of efficient hybrid solutions at work.

Benndale Power Plant 3D Tour:

Click HERE to enter.


Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.