Thursday, 9 October 2008

Beacon Power tests its first megawatt of flywheel energy storage

Beacon Power Corporation has built and tested an integrated matrix of ten high-power flywheels that operated together to absorb and supply a full megawatt of electricity.

The system, located in Beacon's Tyngsboro Mass. headquarters, will be the first of up to five megawatts of flywheel-based regulation capability that will be produced this year and commercially deployed to generate revenues from the provision of regulation services.

Until now, Beacon had been building and running individual flywheels in preparation for its first full megawatt implementation. Based on internal testing of an integrated matrix of ten flywheels, the company says its one-megawatt Smart Energy Matrix can ramp up and down to absorb and supply a full megawatt of power.

Bill Capp, president and CEO, Beacon Power said, "We've proven that a matrix of our Smart Energy 25 flywheels, together with associated electronics, software and other components, can store and release a megawatt of electricity."

Beacon will begin system testing in conjunction with ISO New England, during which time the flywheel matrix will respond to actual ISO test signals to absorb and supply power. This plan will allow the company to meet its schedule to interconnect live to the grid and to begin performing frequency regulation services under an ISO New England Alternative Technologies Pilot Program scheduled to start on November 18th.

The ISO New England Alternative Technologies Pilot Program, which was announced last month, will provide revenue for regulation services until permanent market rules have been developed. This process is expected to take approximately 18 months.

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