Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Finland-based generation technology provider Wärtsilä to develop two flexible gas power plant projects.

The power plants are expected to be as large as large as 450 megawatts (MW) each.

Southern Power, who is a leader in the development, installation and operation of electric power facilities, will lead this effort whilst Wärtsilä will offer technical and commercial support.

Southern Power President and CEO, Buzz Miller, said the agreement is an early stage in a lengthy process, adding, “But we believe this technology could be an excellent solution for our customers, and for many others in the marketplace that we hope to serve through this relationship. Renewables are an important part of a diverse energy mix, and flexible generation complements the rapid growth of intermittent renewables.”

Wärtsilä President, Javier Cavada, said, “In the USA we are seeing a large demand for flexible generation and Wärtsilä provides the most efficient and fastest starting solution making this the ideal investment for customers to serve the need for flexibility.”

Today, Southern Power continues to strategically grow its portfolio of more than 12,600 MW through the acquisition and development of clean energy solutions. The company owns and operates 10 combined-cycle and combustion-turbine natural gas-fueled power plants that generate more than 9,000 MW across five states. Additionally, the company owns more than 3,000 MW of renewable generation.

After contracts signed with the cities of Denton and Tallahassee over the past 12 months, Wärtsilä continues to grow its footprint in the USA. The current installed base, including projects under construction, is more than 3,000 MW. Globally, Wärtsilä’s installed power plant base is 63 GW in 176 countries.