Beacon Power to Design Flywheel-Based Frequency Regulation Power Plant

Beacon Power Corporation has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and administered by Sandia National Laboratories, to design a 20-megawatt (MW) Smart Energy Matrix frequency regulation power plant.

This project directly supports Beacon’s plan to develop commercial-scale flywheel-based frequency regulation facilities in the U.S., beginning in 2007. The contract, valued at $752,500 over a 12-month time period, will provide funding for a portion of Beacon’s expected development costs. “We’re extremely pleased to receive this contract award from the Department of Energy and to undertake this groundbreaking work under the technical guidance of Sandia National Laboratories,” said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. Under the contract, Beacon will develop a design specification package for a 20-MW flywheel-based frequency regulation power plant; complete a comparison study contrasting the features, costs and benefits of flywheel regulation versus conventional technology solutions; perform an analysis to optimize the unique performance advantages of flywheels in providing frequency regulation; determine the comparative advantages of plant sizes between 1 and 40 MW; and identify, study and rank potential plant locations. “The DOE continues to be a strong and effective force in helping to bring the benefits of flywheel technology to our national electricity grid,” said Capp, “as they have supported our Smart Energy Matrix demonstration systems in California and New York. This new project is the next significant step in Beacon’s strategic plan, and it will bring us closer to our goal to design, construct, own and operate the world’s first megawatt-level flywheel-based frequency regulation power plant.” Dr. Imre Gyuk, DOE’s program manager for Energy Storage Research, commented: “DOE has been pleased to be a partner with the California Energy Commission and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in the development and field testing of two scale-power Beacon flywheel systems. The success of these prototypes gives us confidence that a 20-megawatt system comprising 200 next-generation Beacon flywheels could effectively provide the U.S. grid with a new and more efficient technology solution for frequency regulation.”
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