Beacon Power Chosen for Energy Storage Research

Two major energy storage projects to demonstrate advanced electric energy storage devices in New York State have been selected as part of a joint initiative between the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Storage Research Program and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In addition, seven smaller analysis and development projects for novel storage technologies have also been selected. The three-year program will cost US$7.1 million.

“These two joint initiatives are an excellent example of the important role the States play in bringing technology from research to the market place,” Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said. “This work will help showcase near commercial electric energy storage devices that can demonstrate cost benefits for electric energy consumers.” The DOE Energy Storage program will contribute $900,000 in funding and provide technical oversight for the design, operation, and monitoring of the demonstration sites through Sandia National Laboratories. NYSERDA will provide $2.6 million in funding and administrative support. The awardees will provide the remaining $3.6 million. The NYSERDA/DOE energy storage initiative joins a similar collaboration between DOE and the California Energy Commission (CEC) in which three projects were selected earlier this year. The California program will cost $9.6 million over a three-year period. Contracts for the following advanced energy storage demonstration projects are currently being negotiated and NYSERDA will announce the awards at a later date — New York Power Authority (NYPA), White Plains, NY. A project to shift a compressor peak load to off-peak capacity and provide emergency backup power by utilizing a sodium-sulfur (NAS) battery system at a major Long Island Bus depot facility. The primary application will be to supply up to 1MW of power to a natural gas compressor for 6 – 8 hours/day, 7 days/week, particularly during the summer peak. The natural gas compressor fuels new natural gas busses that are replacing diesel fueled busses. The turnkey system will be provided by ABB, Inc. to include the power conversion system (PCS), and overall system integration plus the NAS battery by NGK Insulators, Ltd. — Beacon Power Corporation, Wilmington, MA. A project to provide grid frequency regulation and reactive power by utilizing a flywheel energy storage system located at a brown field site. Suppression of frequency fluctuations is important because they are the first sign of potential grid collapse. The demonstration will consist of combining seven Beacon flywheels and power electronics into a 50 – 100 kW/15 minute system and integrating it with Niagara Mohawk’s distribution grid. The demonstration will be physically located in Amsterdam, NY on the premises of Power and Composite Technologies, Inc. (PCT). The benefits of this demonstration include improvement of grid reliability, potential reduction in operational cost, and power stabilization as well as uninterrupted power for PCT.

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