updated 12/23/2010 8:46:42 AM ET 2010-12-23T13:46:42

TYNGSBORO, Mass., Dec. 23, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq:BCON), a leading provider of fast-response energy storage systems and services to support a more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid, announced that it has made substantial progress toward completion and partial start-up of the 20-megawatt (MW) flywheel frequency regulation plant the Company is building in Stephentown, New York.

More than 10 MW of energy storage capacity (i.e., more than 100 flywheels) has been installed and fully tested by Beacon and is ready for grid connection. Of this, 40 flywheels (or 4 MW) have been running successfully in a "virtual" mode, connected to a temporary on-site generator that simulates the grid connection. In addition, all support systems and ancillary hardware for the plant's eventual matrix of 200 flywheels -- including control software, power electronics, cooling and other equipment -- are in place.

The first 4 MW will be interconnected to the grid when the local utility, NYSEG, completes work on its adjacent electrical substation. The high-voltage wiring to Beacon's plant is in place and all major substation components have been installed. The substation is now in system check-out, testing and commissioning stage.

NYSEG is making an extraordinary effort to finish all remaining tasks as soon as possible, with crews on site seven days a week. Once NYSEG completes its substation, the first 4 MW of energy storage capacity will be connected and begin providing revenue-generating regulation service to the New York grid. Additional megawatts will be brought steadily online, rapidly increasing the plant's frequency regulation capacity and revenue.

"We are very grateful for the excellent support we are receiving from our friends at NYSEG as we finish the last remaining steps before beginning commercial operation," said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. "Once the substation upgrades are complete, our only pacing item to reach full 20 MW capacity utilization will be building and installing the remaining flywheels in Stephentown, as all other associated support systems and infrastructure are already in place."

About Beacon Power Corporation

Beacon Power Corporation designs, develops and is commercializing advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation. Beacon's Smart Energy MatrixTM, now in production, being operated and earning revenue, is a non-polluting, megawatt-scale, fast-response flywheel-based solution designed to provide less expensive, more sustainable and effective frequency regulation services to the nation's power grid. The Company's business strategy is both to supply frequency regulation services from its own plants and to sell systems directly to utilities or grid operators in parts of North America and selected international markets. Beacon is a publicly traded company with its research, development and manufacturing facility in the U.S. For more information, visit www.beaconpower.com.

Safe Harbor Statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The Material contained in this press release may include statements that are not historical facts and are considered "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements reflect Beacon Power Corporation's current views about future events, financial performances, and project development. These "forward-looking" statements are identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "will," "believe," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," and similar expressions identifying forward-looking statements. Investors should not rely on forward-looking statements because they are subject to a variety of risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Beacon's expectation. These factors include: a short operating history; a history of losses and anticipated continued losses from operations; the complexity and other challenges of arranging project financing and resources for one or more frequency regulation power plants, including uncertainty about whether we will be able to comply with the conditions or ongoing covenants of the Federal Financing Bank loan for our Stephentown, New York, facility; our need to comply with any disbursement or other conditions under the DOE Smart Grid grant program; a need to raise additional equity to fund Beacon's projects and our other operations in uncertain financial markets and at a time when the Company's stock price is relatively low; conditions in target markets, such as that some ISOs are taking longer than others to comply with FERC's requirement to update market rules to include new technology such as ours, and also such as that frequency regulation pricing is lower in the short-term than at many times in the past; our ability to obtain site interconnection approvals, landlord approvals, or other zoning and construction approvals in a timely manner; limited experience manufacturing commercial products or supplying frequency regulation services on a commercial basis; limited commercial contracts for revenues to date; the dependence of revenues on the achievement of product optimization, manufacturing and commercialization milestones; dependence on third-party suppliers; intense competition from companies with greater financial resources, especially from companies that are already in the frequency regulation market; possible government regulation that would impede the ability to market products or services or affect market size; possible product liability claims and the negative publicity which could result; any failure to protect intellectual property; retaining key executives and the possible need in the future to hire and retain key executives; the historical volatility of our stock price, as well as the volatility of the stock price of other companies in the energy sector, especially in view of current conditions in the financial markets generally. These factors are elaborated upon and other factors may be disclosed from time to time in Beacon Power filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Beacon Power expressly does not undertake any duty to update forward-looking statements.

CONTACT:  Darrow Associates
          Investor Relations Contact: 
          Chris Witty
          646-438-9385
          cwitty@darrowir.com

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