Beacon Power Corp. (Tyngsboro, Mass., USA), a company that designs and develops advanced products and services to support more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation (by use of composite-intensive flywheels), announced on May 24 that it has signed a $2 million contract with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA will provide partial funding for critical grid infrastructure elements at Beacon's 20-MW frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, N.Y., including interconnection components to allow the plant to interface with the New York power grid. NYSERDA will also fund certain other project aspects, including a visitor information center to be built at the Stephentown site.
Beacon first demonstrated how its flywheel technology could respond to grid frequency regulation control signals in New York with a small-scale energy storage project in Amsterdam that was partially funded by NYSERDA in 2006. The company broke ground at the Stephentown site in November 2009, after the project won approvals by the New York State Public Service Commission, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), and the local planning board.
"NYSERDA is one of the most innovative and forward-looking energy organizations in the country," said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. "Starting more than five years ago when we began working together to demonstrate that flywheel energy storage could provide clean, responsive frequency regulation, right up to today's significant funding agreement for Stephentown, NYSERDA has recognized the efficiency and value that our technology can bring to the state and its electricity users."
Francis J. Murray, Jr., NYSERDA president and CEO, said, "Advanced energy-storage technologies like the one Beacon is incorporating into its plant are essential for New York to achieve substantial reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. This Beacon project is a unique initiative that will help protect our environment, strengthen our clean energy economy, and demonstrate New York's leadership in developing smart grid systems that will increase our energy efficiency."
"As our country seeks to move toward a 21st century clean energy economy, this flywheel energy storage plant that Beacon Power is building in Stephentown is exactly what's needed," said Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20). "I am pleased to support this innovative project, which will both help the local economy and stabilize the state's power grid in a clean and sustainable way."