Beacon Power composite flywheel energy system goes live in New York

Beacon Power's frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, N.Y., has energized and interconnected 8 MW of 20 MW available of flywheel energy storage and is now earning revenue.

Beacon Power Corp. (Tyngsboro, Mass., USA), a provider of fast-response energy storage systems and services to support a more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid, announced on Jan. 24 that it has energized and interconnected 8 MW of composites-based flywheel energy storage and is now earning revenue at its frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, N.Y., USA.

All interconnection systems between the Stephentown plant and local utility provider NYSEG's substation are operational to enable the full 20-MW plant to come online. Additional megawatts of energy storage capacity will be progressively energized, thereby increasing the plant's revenue.

Beacon's flywheel system makes significant use of carbon fiber composites to create a device that rapidly stores and discharges energy from wind and solar sources. A frequency regulation plant is comprised of several flywheels that to allow an energy provider to store energy when demand is low, and discharge energy when demand is high.

"With this live connection of our first grid-scale flywheel energy storage system, the Stephentown plant is now providing clean, long-life, fast-response frequency regulation services to the people of New York," said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. "This is a major step in establishing our merchant plant business throughout the open-bid electricity markets in the U.S. and will accelerate our ability to market and sell turnkey facilities in vertical markets across North America and overseas."

New York ISO president and CEO Stephen G. Whitley said, "The use of advanced, grid-scale storage technologies will be an integral part of the grid of the future and help create a more robust, reliable power system while lowering costs for consumers. As the first grid operator in the nation to implement federally approved energy storage market rules, we have attracted significant attention and investment from companies like Beacon Power. Beacon's new flywheel technology is a promising addition to our resource mix that will help improve system efficiency as well as our efforts to integrate more renewable energy."

At full capacity, the Company's Stephentown plant will provide 20 MW of regulation service to the New York power grid, or approximately 10 percent of the state's typical daily demand. Frequency regulation is an essential grid-stabilizing service that is typically performed by slower, less-efficient fossil fuel generators. Flywheel-based energy storage is proven technology that can provide the same service faster and more effectively, with zero fuel consumption or CO2 emissions. Unlike chemical battery-based systems, the storage capacity of Beacon's kinetic energy flywheel technology does not degrade as a function of charge and discharge cycles, time or temperature.