SMMPA Dedicates Cat® G20CM Natural Gas Generator Sets for Owatonna Energy Station

For Worldwide Release: August 8, 2018

Caterpillar Energy Solutions is pleased to participate in Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s (SMMPA’s) dedication of their 38.8 MW Owatonna Station, which has four Cat® G20CM34 natural gas generator sets, delivering  9.7 MW of electric generation capacity per generator set. Located in Owatonna, Minnesota – the Owatonna Energy Station is the most recent addition to SMMPA’s power supply portfolio. The new power plant replaces a facility that was damaged by the Straight River flooding of 2010 and will provide power to an estimated 25,000 Minnesota households.

“Owatonna is powered by Caterpillar’s largest natural gas generator set on the market,” said Claudio Martino, regional sales manager for Caterpillar Energy Solutions. “The G20CM34 generator set features a 720 RPM, 20-cylinder, natural gas-fired, spark ignited, V-shape, turbocharged and aftercooled engine that allows multiple fast starts per day and achieves high efficiency with low emissions, even in partial loads. These features make the G20CM34 generator set an ideal solution to provide key ancillary services to the local grid, such as spinning reserve and regulation,” states Martino.

The Owatonna Station is the second application of the Cat G20CM34 generator sets in the United States. Together with its 16 and 12-cylinder versions, Caterpillar has over 150 of the GCM34 engines installed in the United States and Canada, representing over 1,000 MW of installed capacity in power and gas compression projects, which makes this product one of its most successful medium speed solutions globally.

“We are pleased to have this new facility on-line, providing reliable and cost-effective energy to the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market and hedging energy costs for our eighteen member cities,” said Mark Mitchell, director of operations and chief operating officer at SMMPA. “The new Cat units replaced an older gas-fired steam generation plant that was lost to a flood. The new units are much more efficient and flexible to meet the ever-changing demands on a system with wind and solar generation.”

“We value our working relationship with Caterpillar,” said Mitchell. “This is our second successful project with them. We first worked with them to build our 25 MW Fairmont Energy Station in 2013, which is powered by four Cat G16CM34 generator sets. We have been very pleased with the Fairmont units which, in part, drove our decision to again partner with Caterpillar on the Owatonna Energy Station. Caterpillar has been very flexible in incorporating our specific needs and interests into the overall design, making them a great power generation partner,” said Mitchell.

Ziegler Cat, Caterpillar's local dealer, will support SMMPA on the Owatonna project. “We are excited to continue our long-standing relationship with SMMPA and its members with this project,” said Marc Kocina, vice president of Ziegler Power Systems. “We are honored to partner in providing parts and technical support for this new energy asset.”

Contact Sarah Pullen at

Cat® G20CM34 generator sets in the United States.

The Owatonna Station is the second application of the Cat® G20CM34 generator sets in the United States.

Cat® G20CM34 generator sets in the United States.

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Created by its members as a not-for-profit joint-action agency in 1977, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) utilizes a diverse energy mix of renewable energy, coal, and natural gas-fired generation and an array of innovative products and services to provide reliable and affordable electricity in an environmentally sustainable manner to its 18 member utilities and the nearly 118,000 customers they serve.

About Caterpillar Energy Solutions

With its two brands, MWM and Cat, Caterpillar Energy Solutions stands for highly-efficient and eco-friendly solutions for distributed power generation and manufactures gas engines, electric power plants, as well as CHP plants. As part of the Caterpillar Electric Power Division, with 64 locations in 20 countries, Caterpillar Energy Solutions today commands a leading market position in the field of highly efficient, ecologically advanced distributed energy solutions. Thus, we serve our customers around the globe as a reliable partner for proven and sustained added value in the implementation of power plant projects. Our products are the result of more than 140 years of experience in the development and optimization of gas engines and generator sets for natural gas, biogas, and other special gases. For more information, please visit

About Caterpillar

For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2017 sales and revenues of $45.462 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three primary segments - Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit To connect with us on social media, visit

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Sarah Pullen
Caterpillar Inc.
Tel: +1 309-675-1513
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