Beacon Power to start building flywheel frequency regulation plant

Tyngsboro, Mass., November 10, 2009 – Beacon Power Corp. will begin construction on the nation’s first full-scale 20-MW flywheel frequency regulation plant during the week of November 23rd, at its site in Stephentown, New York.

All state and local construction-related permits and approvals for the plant have now been received. Beacon will start initial site work while continuing to progress toward closing a $43-million loan with the Federal Finance Bank, with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy and a loan guarantee commitment that Beacon received earlier this year. The loan is intended to support construction of the plant.

Frequency regulation is a grid service performed by maintaining a tight balance between electricity supply and demand. Beacon’s 20 MW plant has been designed to provide frequency regulation services by absorbing electricity from the grid when there is too much, and storing it as kinetic energy in a matrix of flywheel systems.

When there is not enough power to meet demand, the flywheels then inject it back into the grid, thus helping maintain proper electricity frequency (i.e., 60 cycles/second).

Thanks to its ability to recycle electricity efficiently and act like a “shock absorber” to the grid, the flywheel plant will help also support the integration of greater amounts of intermittent wind and solar power resources.

However, unlike conventional fossil fuel-powered generators that provide frequency regulation, Beacon’s plant will not consume any fuel, nor will it directly produce greenhouse gas emissions or other air pollutants.

Beacon Power Corp. designs, develops and is taking steps to commercialize advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation. The company’s primary business strategy is to commercialize its patented flywheel energy storage technology to perform frequency regulation services on the grid.

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