T&D World Magazine

NYSERDA Completes Flywheel System Acceptance Testing

Beacon Power Corporation has successfully completed the pre-shipment acceptance testing for a scale-power Smart Energy Matrix demonstration unit, built under contract to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. The acceptance tests were conducted at Beacon Power's facility in Wilmington, Massachusetts. The system is expected to be installed and connected to the grid at the demonstration host site in Amsterdam, New York, during March 2006.

Peter Smith, president of NYSERDA, said, "This project is part of NYSERDA's continuing commitment to identify and deploy advanced technologies that have the potential to improve the reliability and performance of our electrical grid infrastructure, for the benefit of consumers in New York State."

"Successfully testing and gaining approval to ship our second Smart Energy Matrix demonstration system is another step toward proving that our flywheel technology is viable for wider commercial deployment," said Bill Capp, Beacon Power president and CEO. "With one demonstration system already in California and this one soon to be installed in New York, we can show how Beacon's high-energy flywheels provide a cleaner and better-performing alternative to conventional fossil fuel-based frequency regulation services-and do so cost-effectively. The NYSERDA system was enhanced to enable it to also provide uninterruptible power to the site, as well as volt-amperes reactive power, or VARs, which help stabilize power to electrical equipment. Having these additional capabilities allows us to demonstrate that the Smart Energy Matrix can also meet the technical requirements for several other commercially viable applications," Capp added.

During the acceptance testing, the ability of Beacon's Smart Energy Matrix to follow signals required for frequency regulation and to provide VAR support was confirmed. Testing for these functionalities involved verification of key performance parameters including: system communications (with a new graphical user interface that further simplifies monitoring and operation); compliance with a range of application-specific charging and discharging profiles; and demonstration of normal system operation and shutdown modes.

In addition to supporting the system demonstrations in New York and California, Beacon continues its progress to develop its next-generation 25-kWh flywheel, which will be the core component of the full-power Smart Energy Matrix. That project remains on schedule, with a prototype expected to be ready for testing in late 2006.

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