Beacon Power inks ARPA-E contract to develop long-duration flywheel for renewable energy integration

Source: Beacon Power

Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq:BCON) signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E) calling for Beacon to develop critical components of a highly advanced "flying ring" flywheel energy storage system over a two-year period, beginning immediately. The contract is valued at $2.8 million. ARPA-E grant recipients share a portion of the program cost, and Beacon would contribute $560,000, or 20% of the $2.8 million program total. 

As previously announced, the goal of the development project would be to store four times the energy at one-eighth the cost per kilowatt-hour, versus Beacon's current Smart Energy 25 (Gen 4) flywheel system. Beacon's Gen 4 flywheel is currently in production and being deployed on the grid to provide frequency regulation service. Beacon expects that the ARPA-E-funded flywheel system, if successfully carried through to a commercial product, would be suitable for a variety of new applications. 

"These innovative ideas will play a critical role in our energy security and economic growth," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "It is now more important than ever to invest in a new, clean energy economy," he added, referencing the projects ARPA-E selected for funding in July of this year. Beacon Power was one of only 43 projects selected during this competitive funding opportunity. ARPA-E had received 529 initial concept papers and encouraged 164 applicants to submit full applications. 

One new application of particular interest to the Department of Energy is so-called "ramping" support for wind and solar power. The goal would be to provide one hour of flywheel storage as an energy-balancing resource for intermittent renewable energy assets, and thereby reduce the amount of fossil-based backup power that might be used to provide the same effect. The benefit would be to enable significantly greater market penetration of renewable generation resources in a clean and sustainable way. Some of the technology developed under the ARPA-E program may also lead to reduced costs and increased performance for Beacon's current generation of flywheels.



Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Reduce Engineering Project Complexity

Engineering document management presents unique and complex challenges. A solution based in Enter...

Revolutionizing Asset Management in the Electric Power Industry

With the arrival of the Industrial Internet of Things, data is growing and becoming more accessib...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs