Electric Power Generation
Reciprocating engine plants have desirable characteristics for today's electricity markets. They can be started quickly, reaching full load in 5 to 10 minutes from warm engine block start, which makes them ideal for chasing wind power. They have a flexible dispatch envelope that can meet peaking, intermediate and base load dispatch without the performance degradation or start/stop penalties that affect gas turbine plants, while also providing ancillary services.
Reciprocating engines are extremely reliable, thanks to their multiple-shaft, modular design and ability to operate on multiple fuels with bumpless transfer. They are also easy to site, requiring little water, thanks to closed loop cooling and low fuel gas pressures; their buildings are light industrial designs that blend well into many locations due to low height buildings and structures.
We have extensive experience with permitting, design and construction of reciprocating engine power plants of all sizes, in locations as disparate as Texas, the Midwest, California and Alaska. Custom-solution projects can fit the owner's needs and range from simple black start retrofits to new power plants using the largest reciprocating engines.
We are the U.S. leader in this field, having executed the most medium-speed (700 to 720 rpm) reciprocating engine-based power projects — one of which, the Red Gate Power Plant, is the largest engine power plant project at 220 MW — and with the most fuel types. Burns & McDonnell has executed projects with the two leading, medium-speed, engine generator original equipment manufacturers, Wärtsilä and CAT.
Our reciprocating engine project teams have unparalleled experience in the U.S. and require no learning curve to achieve a shorter design time, faster permitting and quicker project execution. Our project engineers and site managers have engine plant construction, startup and commissioning experience, and our construction group has deep experience in managing and scheduling all engine project phases. A core project team has worked together on all the reciprocating engine jobs from start to completion, gaining valuable lessons learned that will make your project successful.