T&D World Magazine

Beacon Power Successfully Tests Flywheel Frequency Regulation in New York

Beacon Power Corporation has announced that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the U.S. Department of Energy have confirmed the successful outcome of field trial testing of Beacon’s scale-power flywheel frequency regulation system in New York. In addition, the New York ISO, which operates the power grid, determined that Beacon’s technology is viable for connection to the grid.

These milestones follow the January announcement that Beacon’s first flywheel frequency regulation demonstration system had received certification from the California ISO after successfully completing its field trial in that state.

“After evaluating the test results and discussing Beacon’s performance with representatives of the California ISO, we find the Beacon flywheel technology to be acceptable and viable for use in the New York ISO grid,” said Michael Calimano, vice president of operations, New York ISO. “We are currently determining how the service would be integrated into our tariff structure, and we look forward to working with Beacon Power to implement this important new technology.”

“NYSERDA is pleased with the successful outcome of Beacon’s frequency regulation field trial that was performed in New York, in cooperation with our partners at the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Peter R. Smith, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “We look forward to continuing our role in facilitating the commercial deployment of this innovative technology within New York’s electricity grid.”

Beacon’s New York-based flywheel system field trial reached this milestone after the U.S. DOE (through Sandia National Laboratories, which co-monitored the demonstration with NYSERDA) concluded that the unit’s performance had been successfully demonstrated and that additional testing was not required. The flywheel system will remain in place in Amsterdam, New York, to respond to any additional control methodology demonstration that may be requested by the New York ISO.

“This is another significant achievement for Beacon Power and a major step towards our goal of becoming the nation’s first independent provider of frequency regulation services using our flywheel technology,” said Bill Capp. “With both Smart Energy Matrix system field trials successfully concluded we can now focus on commercial implementation of this technology in our targeted grid operating regions.”

Beacon’s New York-based flywheel demonstration system was installed in March 2006 and began its formal field trial in June. The goal was to determine its ability to provide fast-response frequency regulation, as well as another ancillary service called reactive power. In comparison to California, where Beacon’s system was controlled by a signal sent every four seconds by the grid operator, the New York system consistently responded to frequency variations it sensed through its direct grid connection. In addition, in cooperation with the New York ISO and a major international utility, the system also successfully demonstrated its ability to provide reactive power, a secondary service that the grid requires to maintain stability.

Beacon is now evaluating potential operation in California, New York, New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions for its commercial-sized frequency regulation plants, the first of which Beacon plans to build in 2008.

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