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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed its formal environmental review of Tyngsboro, Mass.-based Beacon Power Corp.'s proposed 20 MW frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, N.Y., and issued a finding of no significant impact (FONSI). In its determination, the DOE said that the plant "will not have a significant effect on the human environment."

This FONSI determination means that the company's application will not be delayed by a time-consuming environmental impact statement that is sometimes mandated for projects being reviewed.

This determination completes the environmental analysis of the project site that began in July 2008, when the Stephentown planning board approved the environmental aspects of the project by issuing its own negative clearance and determination of non-significance for the project.

Beacon's proposed plant would provide frequency-regulation services by absorbing energy when it is abundant, storing it in a flywheel energy storage system and injecting it back as necessary to help the grid maintain electricity frequency within a desired range.

Beacon's plant will not directly produce greenhouse gas emissions or other air pollutants, nor will it directly consume fuel, as do conventional fossil fuel-powered generators that provide regulation, according to the company.

SOURCE: Beacon Power Corp.

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