TYNGSBORO, Mass., Jan. 24, 2011 (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 energized and interconnected eight megawatts (8 MW) of flywheel energy storage and is now earning revenue at its frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, New York.
All interconnection systems between the Stephentown plant and local utility provider NYSEG's substation are operational to enable the full 20 MW plant to come online. Additional megawatts of energy storage capacity will be progressively energized, thereby increasing the plant's revenue. Beacon's website – – will be updated to reflect total interconnected capacity. Last month Beacon announced that it was ready to connect a substantial portion of the plant to the grid and was waiting for NYSEG to finish testing the substation.
"With this live connection of our first grid-scale flywheel energy storage system, the Stephentown plant is now providing clean, long-life, fast-response frequency regulation services to the people of New York," said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. "This is a major step in establishing our merchant plant business throughout the open-bid electricity markets in the U.S. and will accelerate our ability to market and sell turnkey facilities in vertical markets across North America and overseas."
New York ISO president and CEO Stephen G. Whitley said, "The use of advanced, grid-scale storage technologies will be an integral part of the grid of the future and help create a more robust, reliable power system while lowering costs for consumers. As the first grid operator in the nation to implement federally approved energy storage market rules, we have attracted significant attention and investment from companies like Beacon Power. Beacon's new flywheel technology is a promising addition to our resource mix that will help improve system efficiency as well as our efforts to integrate more renewable energy."
At full capacity, the Company's Stephentown plant will provide 20 MW of regulation service to the New York power grid, or approximately 10% of the state's typical daily demand. Frequency regulation is an essential grid-stabilizing service that is typically performed by slower, less-efficient fossil fuel generators. Flywheel-based energy storage is proven technology that can provide the same service faster and more effectively, with zero fuel consumption or CO2 emissions. Unlike chemical battery-based systems, the storage capacity of Beacon's kinetic energy flywheel technology does not degrade as a function of charge and discharge cycles, time or temperature.
"We're proud to be a partner with Beacon Power for what will be New York's first flywheel-based energy storage facility," said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). "I congratulate the company for its role in helping to create a more efficient and reliable electric grid."
NYSERDA is supporting Beacon's Stephentown project with a $2 million investment. NYSERDA has invested in a number of energy-storage systems around the state as part of its continued interest in developing a clean-energy economy.
New York State Senator George Maziarz added, "As Chairman of the State Senate Energy Committee, I want to congratulate Beacon Power on the start of operations at their flywheel energy storage plant. Flywheel technology has proven to be both dependable and environmentally friendly. This plant will improve the efficiency and reliability of New York's electrical grid – and most importantly, it will save consumers money."
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 in two states (Massachusetts and New York) and through two ISOs, 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 .
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: Investor Relations Contact: Chris Witty Darrow Associates 646-438-9385 email@example.com