Beacon Power wins state approval for flywheel frequency regulation facility

The composites-based flywheels will be used to store excess electrical energy and deliver it back to the energy grid when needed. The technology is considered critical for storage of wind energy.

Beacon Power Corporation (Tyngsboro, Mass., USA) announced on Oct. 16 that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has granted Beacon a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for its proposed 20-MW flywheel frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, N.Y., and approved the project’s overall financing. At its Oct. 15 meeting, the PSC determined that Beacon’s proposed flywheel plant in Stephentown is in the public’s interest. Beacon's flywheels are made, in part, from composite materials.

Last month the PSC affirmed that Beacon’s Stephentown plant had met all relevant PSC environmental requirements. With the PSC’s last two decisions now in place, Beacon is authorized to apply for applicable permits, submit final plans and drawings to PSC for review, and prepare to construct and operate the plant.

“We are excited to be able to support the development of new, state-of-the-art facilities that will help us improve our use of electricity,” said Commission chairman Garry Brown. “The facility’s flywheels are designed to store excess energy when the generated power supply exceeds demand and conversely deliver it back to the grid when demand exceeds supply. This project will help fully utilize electricity generated from renewable power sources, which is often generated at times when demand is low.”

“This is an important decision for Beacon Power and for electricity users in the state,” said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. “The PSC works to ensure that New Yorkers have access to reliable and low-cost utility services. We believe that their decision to approve the CPCN for the Stephentown plant is recognition of the benefits that flywheel energy storage can bring in improving grid reliability and providing an essential grid service in a clean, low-cost way.”