Technology Merit: Energy Storage


Back from reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, Beacon Power is building a second electricity storage plant using its flywheel technology in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. In Q2 2013, Beacon Power began installing the first of 200 flywheels at the $53 million facility, which will be designed to provide frequency regulation to the regional grid, providing up to 20 MW of up- or down-regulation by charging or discharging energy as needed, with the ability to reach peak output in about one second, according to the company.

Beacon Power is manufacturing the flywheels at its plant in Tyngsborough. The company, recipient of a $43 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in August 2010, had filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2011 after failing to make money from its first plant, a 20 MW facility in Stephenstown, New York. In February 2012, private equity firm Rockland Capital acquired Beacon and its assets out of bankruptcy.

Beacon Power announced in April 2013, that it's first frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, New York, had achieved 97% availability with no material technical issues since June 2011-and achieved 100% availability in the first four months of 2013.