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Tynsboro, Mass.-based Beacon Power Corp. has completed the connection of a second megawatt of flywheel energy storage to the New England power grid. This new system, which has been producing revenue by providing frequency regulation services, doubles the energy-storage capacity now in operation at Beacon's headquarters.

"Both our first 1 MW system and this new, second megawatt are being controlled by ISO New England," says Bill Capp, Beacon's president and CEO. "The second system is operating on a separate, higher-voltage power line than the first and uses a different interconnection, transformer and meter, which has enabled us to gain experience with multiple connection arrangements."

Beacon's first 1 MW smart energy matrix flywheel system has been absorbing and injecting electricity to provide frequency regulation services on the ISO New England grid since November 2008.

In the second quarter of this year, the company realized significantly lower operating costs for this system, when ISO New England and the local utility, National Grid, changed how National Grid charges Beacon for electricity. The second megawatt system will also benefit from this cost reduction.

Beacon expects to have up to 5 MW of flywheel energy-storage capacity installed by year-end. The company projects that the systems running at its Tyngsboro headquarters will generate positive gross margins from the provision of frequency regulation services.

In addition, Beacon's loan guarantee to help finance the construction of a 20 MW plant has been approved by the Department of Energy (DOE). Beacon is looking to break ground on the 20 MW frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, N.Y., later this year. Depending on the outcome of financing discussions and the timing of the DOE loan guarantee closing, full construction of the plant is expected to begin soon thereafter, according to the company.

SOURCE: Beacon Power Corp.

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