Beacon Power has signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) calling for Beacon to develop critical components of a highly advanced flying ring flywheel energy-storage system over a two-year period, beginning immediately.
The contract is valued at $2.8 million. ARPA-E grant recipients share a portion of the program cost, and Beacon would contribute $560,000, or 20% of the $2.8 million program total.
As previously announced, the goal of the development project would be to store four times the energy at one-eighth the cost per kilowatt-hour, versus Beacon's current Smart Energy 25 (Gen 4) flywheel system.
Beacon's Gen 4 flywheel is currently in production and is being deployed on the grid to provide frequency regulation service.
Beacon expects that the ARPA-E-funded flywheel system would be suitable for a variety of new applications. For example, the company says one new application of particular interest to the DOE is so-called ‘ramping’ support for wind and solar power.
The goal would be to provide one hour of flywheel storage as an energy-balancing resource for intermittent renewable energy assets, and thereby reduce the amount of fossil-based backup power that might be used to provide the same effect. The benefit would be to enable significantly greater market penetration of renewable generation resources in a clean and sustainable way. Some of the technology developed under the ARPA-E program may also lead to reduced costs and increased performance for Beacon's current generation of flywheels.
SOURCE: Beacon Power