Beacon Power wins approval for second flywheel plant

Beacon Power will build a second flywheel-based energy storage and discharge facility in Hazle Township, Pa., USA. The flywheels are made with carbon fiber composites and are used to store energy from renewable resources.

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Beacon Power Corp. (Tyngsboro, Mass.) on April 28 announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the terms of its Smart Grid Stimulus Grant program to proceed to the second of three phases of funding for construction of the company's next 20-MW flywheel energy storage plant, to be located in Hazle Township, Pa., USA.

In Phase II, Beacon will be allowed to draw up to 95 percent of the $24 million Smart Grid grant it was awarded by DOE in late 2009. Beacon is currently limited by a Phase I spending cap of 4 percent of the grant amount. The Phase II funds will be used to pay for project expenses including material and component procurement, equipment manufacturing and installation, and physical plant construction.

The Department of Energy has reviewed all submitted documents relating to Phase II and is now formally incorporating the facility budget into the program plan. After that step is completed, the grant money will be available to reimburse nearly one-half of Beacon's expenditures on the approximately $50 million facility. That final Phase II step by DOE is expected to be complete within six weeks.

"As we approach completion and full commissioning of our 20-MW flywheel plant in Stephentown, New York, we're pleased to reach this milestone for our next facility in Hazle Township," said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. "This project will create jobs and provide an economic boost to the area. We're grateful to all who have helped make this possible - including the Department of Energy, state legislators and officials, the Public Utility Commission, and the PJM Interconnection."

Beacon's flywheel systems use carbon fiber composite impeller systems to quickly store and discharge electrical energy from renewable resources, like wind and solar.

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