Beacon Power Corp., a provider of advanced energy-storage systems and services, has signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to develop components of a flywheel-based energy-storage system over a two-year period. The contract is valued at $2.8 million. ARPA-E grant recipients share a portion of the program cost. Beacon will contribute $560,000, 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 compared to 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 services. 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.
One new application of particular interest to the DOE is ramping support for solar and wind power, according to Beacon 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.
Beacon Power was one of 43 projects selected during this funding opportunity. ARPA-E had received 529 initial concept papers and encouraged 164 applicants to submit full applications.
SOURCE: Beacon Power Corp.