T&D World Magazine
PG&E Signs Agreement for Flywheel Energy Storage

PG&E Signs Agreement for Flywheel Energy Storage

The company believes its steel flywheel technology will drive down pricing while enhancing oper

Amber Kinetics, Inc. has signed a multi-year Energy Services Agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for 20 MW of storage using its four-hour duration Gen-2 Flywheel Systems. The company believes its steel flywheel technology will drive down pricing while enhancing operational safety and flexibility for utility-scale energy storage.

Amber Kinetics Gen-2 Flywheel Systems are the first four-hour discharge duration flywheels. Until now, commercial flywheel system capabilities were measured in minutes, with limited usefulness to electric utilities seeking to integrate renewable energy at transmission and micro-grid levels.

Amber Kinetics’ technology offers critical advantages over batteries. Even with unlimited cycling during their 30-year lifespan, the systems have no degradation. Because they are 98% steel by weight, they pose no risk of fire, chemical explosion or hazardous materials release. Most important, because they are manufactured from readily available, abundant raw materials and don’t need replacement at regular intervals, they are significantly more cost effective than batteries.

Energy Nuevo, Amber Kinetics’ 20 MW project located in the city of Fresno, was selected by PG&E in California’s first energy storage solicitation. It is believed to be one of the largest ever for a transmission level flywheel system. Energy Nuevo will provide energy storage under a 20-year ESA, beginning in 2020.

The company is in negotiations for up to 30 MW of energy storage systems with a Pacific Rim independent power producer, and in discussion for several pilot microgrid programs at U.S. military installations.

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