Wartsila Users Group

Over the last 20+ years, the Wärtsilä Users Group has taken on many forms. Starting as an annual meeting between the owners of the 3 US based power plants that were online at the time and our OEM, Wärtsilä. Fast forward to 2024 and our conference is now being attended by almost 100 industry professionals representing 50 different facilities and organizations across North and South America, and we are continuing to grow. Today, as we fully align with Power Users, we have seen our forum exchange come back to life and we are again seeing the value of interacting with our peers. We look forward to continuing on this journey with you, the users.

Wartsila Users Group Steering Committee

Steering Committee Members:

Kevin Moore, Operations Manager NRG – Antelope Elk Energy Center (AEEC), 2024 Chair

Kevin Moore is a mechanical engineering graduate from the California Maritime Academy with a diverse background in facility operations, maintenance, and management. He has held progressive positions with NRG and PIC Group, leading teams to high levels of success and overseeing major projects. Kevin’s leadership has resulted in significant safety and performance achievements, including leading teams through 19 years of operations without a lost time incident. He is also a licensed engineer and holds several certifications, including professional firefighter and emergency medical technician. Kevin continues to strive for excellence in his field and contributes to his community as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.


Jeremy Saar, Plant Manager – PIC Group Inc, Western 102 Power Plant

Jeremy Saar started off his career providing O&M services at several CCGT and biomass plants before jumping into the growing field of large-scale reciprocating engine power plants. With a love for piston engines and serious horsepower, Jeremy left the steam world in 2005.  He was drawn to the Western 102 Power Plant operated by PIC Group Inc. and owned by Barrick Gold.  At that time, it was the largest reciprocating engine plant in North America consisting of 14 – W20V34SG engines. Since 2005 Jeremy has successfully operated and maintained the Western 102 facility from commissioning to 740k run hours and climbing.


Fisher Renee – Entergy – New Orleans Power Station (NOPS)


Chris Stanley, Plant ManagerNAES Corporation, Plains End 1 (20 X 18v34SG) and 2 (14 X 20v34SG).

Chris has over twenty-five years of experience with reciprocating engine technology. Specifically, he has had various marine and power plant roles including as an OEM Service Engineer, maintenance, operations, and management. He has been a part of planning and commissioning several Wartsila installations throughout North America. Chris is a graduate of the Unites States Merchant Marine Academy and is a proud veteran of the US Navy.


Joshua Crowell – Matanuska Electric Association


Clinton Richardson – Northstone Power Corp.


Brad Bergman, Plant Manager – NAES Corporation, Goodman Energy Center

Brad started his power career in the Nuclear Navy as an ELT on ballistic missile submarines. He has since been the Plant Manager for SEGS I & II, the first two commercially operated solar-thermal power plants in the US, and for the CalPeak group of combustion gas turbine peakers. He currently works for NAES as the Plant Manager at Goodman Energy Center, a group of 12 20V34SG Wartsila engines owned by Midwest Energy in Hays, KS.

Brad is also on the NAES Leadership Academy committee, delivering company-wide education on leadership topics, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Phoenix, delivering undergraduate business courses. He also serves as an elected officer of Hays Lodge #195, AF&AM.


Joel Ruen, Manager of Distributed Generation, Avant Energy, Shakopee Energy Park

Joel has been in the power generation industry for 42 years.  His career in the electrical industry began as an operation apprentice at a 450MW coal-fired drum boiler for Texas Municipal Power Agency.  Since then, he has worked for Luminant, NAES and Panda Power starting, commissioning and operating 1000MW super critical steam generators to natural gas-fired Siemens SGT6-5000F combined cycle units.  His roles ranged from Shift Supervisor, Training Coordinator, Ash and Fuel Manager and Interim Operation Manager.   In 2016 he joined Avant Energy to start up and manage Shakopee Energy Park for their client Minnesota Municipal Power Agency.  Shakopee Energy Park is a minimally staffed peaking power plant consisting of 5 Wartsila 34SG Genset.  Joel’s duties include scheduling & planning, part acquisition, warehousing, safety program development, environmental compliance, training and procedure development and assisting techs in any operating or maintenance.


Mission Statement of the Wartsila Users Group

The Wärtsilä Users Group is organized to provide an open forum through conferences and technological aids to the Owners/Operators of Wärtsilä Reciprocating Engine Generation sets. We believe that through effective communication, discussion, and information dissemination; the operation, maintenance of our units can be maximized. Finally, by sharing inspection, troubleshooting, and repair techniques we help each other ensure the highest performance and reliability for our equipment. We will achieve this by facilitating meetings, conferences and through the open exchange of ideas across the Power Users Forums to ensure that our users can communicate with each other and with a broad and growing network of skilled and reliable vendors.


October 14 -17, 2024

OMNI Houston Hotel
Four Riverway
Houston, Texas, 77056

Open Conference Details

Registration is now open for the 2024 Edition of the Wärtsilä Users Group Conference.

This year, each Conference will be held during the week of October 14-17 October at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston, TX.

Registration for the Conference is only $385/User through September 14th and $450 thereafter. In addition, a block of hotel rooms has been set aside for User Attendees at the negotiated rate of $189.00 per night.

Details pertaining to the Conference – important dates, agenda/key topics, and a link to register for the Conference as well as your hotel stay – can be found on the Power Users website at: 2024 Conference Info

For the benefit of prospective registrants, the website agenda will be updated regularly as Users, Vendors and OEMs each submit presentation topics for the Conference Session(s). Here are some of the highlights for this year’s conference:
• Monday Afternoon – Registration Open
• Monday Evening – Welcome Reception with Bronze Sponsors
• Tuesday – Technical and Training Sessions with Wärtsilä
Tuesday EveningOff-Site Event (Dinner and Drinks with Wärtsilä ONLY)
• Wednesday – Vendor Day Technical Presentations for and By Users
• Wednesday Evening – Vendor Fair On-Site
• Wednesday Evening (Later) – On-Site Event with MSHS
Thursday Morning Technical Presentations by Users and Committee Report
• Thursday AfternoonOff-Site Event with Goltens Transportation and Lunch provided.

Lastly, let us remember that this is a conference put on for Users, by Users. A major part of what helps these conferences/forums to thrive is active User participation. Our continued success depends heavily on strong User engagement and all our willingness to be able to maintain open dialogue regarding power industry “Hot Topics” across the forum. With this in mind, the Steering Committees encourage any Power Users that are willing to please submit ideas for conference presentations for review in advance of the conference.

We thank you for your participation, and we look forward to seeing you this October in Houston!

Kevin Moore, NRG Energy
WUG Steering Committee Chairmen


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