Beacon Power’s flywheel based energy storage systems were recently awarded testing by the California Energy Commission. A flywheel energy storage system draws electrical energy from a primary source, such as the utility grid, and stores it in a high-density rotating flywheel.The flywheel system is actually a kinetic, or mechanical battery, spinning at very high speeds (>20,000 rpm) to store energy that is instantly available when needed. Upon power loss, the motor driving the flywheel acts as a generator. As the flywheel continues to rotate, this generator supplies power to the customer load. One of the most challenging aspects of today’s electricity grid is that the amount of power generated and the amount consumed must be in exact balance at all times. When imbalances occur, the frequency of electricity (60 hertz in the U.S.) that end users require will not be maintained, which adversely affects grid stability. The constant balancing of power demand and production to maintain a stable frequency is called frequency regulation. Beacon’s Smart Energy Matrix is a flywheel-based energy storage system that is intended to be a long-life, environmentally friendly solution for frequency regulation, with no fuel consumed and no emissions generated.