Block Fortuna: Record-breaking power plant in Düsseldorf harbour

In Düsseldorf, the municipal utilities company, Stadtwerke Düsseldorf, and Siemens AG have built a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant. The “Fortuna” unit holds an impressive three world records for CCGT power plants using residual heat: for the installed electrical capacity, the electrical efficiency and the amount of heat produced. The gradual expansion of the heating network is continuing in order to reach more households and businesses and to absorb and deliver heat beyond the city limits.

The new plant is the most modern and efficient CCGT power plant in the world. It converts energy with a combination of a gas turbine, steam boiler and steam turbine and decouples residual heat according to the principle of combined heat and power (CHP) generation.

With an efficiency level of over 61 per cent during pure power generation, the new plant has set a world record for efficiency. In addition, the heat produced during power generation is used in Stadtwerke Düsseldorf’s district heating grid. Here, too, a world record has been set: never before has it been possible to extract 300 megawatts of heat from just one power plant unit with only one gas turbine. The overall primary energy utilisation rate reaches around 85 per cent. The new plant has an electrical output of 600 megawatts and attains a thermal output of 300 megawatts.

Engine for progress:

  • 600,000 tonnes of CO2 saved in the first year of operation, up to 1 million tonnes by 2025
  • record electrical efficiency level of 61 per cent
  • record 300 megawatts of district heat extracted
  • by 2025: more than 1,000 buildings and housing complexes connected to the district heating grid
  • high degree of flexibility means it should be possible to incorporate renewables into the grid in the future

1 of 2

Photo: Stadtwerke Düsseldorf

The new “Fortuna” unit at Lausward in Düsseldorf harbour.

District heating improves climate footprint and air quality

The site lies on the right bank of the Rhine close to the city centre. The plant is thus ideally suited for extracting climate-friendly, i.e. almost carbon-neutral, heat. The left bank of the Rhine was also connected to the heating network in 2012. The plan is to connect more than 1,000 additional buildings and housing complexes by 2025. Renewable heat sources from third parties, such as solar installations, biogas plants and CHP units, can be connected and their heat absorbed into the grid.

Over the next five years, new capacity of 15 to 20 megawatts of heat is due to be connected to the network. By the start of 2017, a hot water tank with a 35,000-cubic metre capacity will already have been brought into operation in order to provide further flexibility. This tank will serve as a central store for all users and has been designed so that, on a cold winter’s day, it will have enough heat on standby for a whole day.

Particulate matter is not released during heat generation; the new unit prevents the escape of almost all of these emissions.

Highly flexible urban power network

As one of the newest generation of gas turbine power stations, the “Fortuna” unit offers hitherto unknown flexibility. As a result, it will be the central component of a smart and flexible strategy for the energy supply in Düsseldorf and the region: renewable sources of heat such as solar thermal, biogas or cogeneration can be integrated flexibly and on a decentralised basis. In future, it should also be possible to absorb gas from biogas plants, hydrogen or from power-to-gas plants into the gas network and convert it to electricity and heat as needed via the connection to the power station.

Photo: Stadtwerke Düsseldorf

“In future, the power plant should increasingly also be able to use gas from renewables, such as biogas or gas from excess wind power. In this way, the new plant provides the foundation on which we can supply Düsseldorf – the second largest industrial base in North Rhine-Westphalia – with heat and power from renewables for decades to come. And from regional sources at that.”

Dr Udo Brockmeier, Chairman of the municipal utilities company Stadtwerke Düsseldorf

Partners and sponsors

  • Stadtwerke Düsseldorf AG
  • Siemens AG