Beacon Power: Award From U.S. Department of Energy
Beacon Power Corporation, a leading provider of advanced energy storage products and services to support a more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to negotiate a $2.25 million award in support of developing a next-generation flywheel energy storage system. The goal would be to store four times the energy at one-eighth the cost, versus Beacon's current Smart Energy 25 (Gen 4) flywheel system.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E), an agency within DOE that provides R&D funding for transformational new energy technologies and systems, made the award based on Beacon's proposal to develop a highly advanced "flying ring" flywheel system. The development program would take place over a three-year period beginning later this year, and is valued at a total of $2.8 million, pending contractual agreement. 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.
"We are extremely pleased to be included among this very select list of cutting-edge energy storage projects funded by ARPA-E," said Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO. "The storage capacity of our current Gen 4 flywheel is unmatched by any other flywheel-based product, and its cycling capabilities and 20-year operational life are already well ahead of any chemical battery system. With this funding we will work to develop a lower-cost flywheel system that will advance the state of the art far beyond where it is today. If successful, it will open up a number of new commercially attractive applications and markets for clean, long-life flywheel-based energy storage."
Beacon's Gen 4 flywheel is currently deployed and earning revenue on the grid providing frequency regulation, a service that demands thousands of charge-discharge cycles each year. Beacon expects that the ARPA-E-funded flywheel system, if carried through to a commercial product, would be suitable for a variety of other applications where the cost per unit of stored energy is the most critical factor, and the number of charge-discharge cycles is somewhat less important. These applications include: large-scale ramping and load following support for wind and solar power in a way that reduces the need for standby regional peak power generator capacity; wind-diesel-storage hybrid systems that reduce diesel fuel consumption on island-based grids; and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) applications that require an hour or more of assured power.
Beacon's proposal calls for initiating development of a next-generation flywheel energy storage module with a size of 100 kWh and 100 kW, capable of storing four times the energy at one-eighth the cost-per-energy-unit, as compared to the Company's current Gen 4 flywheel. The new flywheel would be capable of more than 40,000 full charge/discharge cycles in its lifetime, thereby achieving a cost per storage cycle below ARPA-E's goal of $0.025/kWh.
ARPA-E received 529 initial concept papers and encouraged approximately 164 applicants to submit full applications, of which only 43 were selected for awards. Multiple review panels composed of leading U.S. science and technology experts reviewed each proposal and made recommendations based on scientific and technical merit and the potential to dramatically advance national energy and economic goals.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E) is an agency within the Department of Energy (DOE), chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act (P. L. 110-69) to create transformational new energy technologies and systems through funding and managing research and development (R&D) efforts. The ARPA-E GRIDS program is focused on supporting high-risk, high-impact R&D efforts to develop proof-of-concept technologies and advanced system prototypes with high potential to revolutionize grid-scale electric energy storage.
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 Matrix(TM), now in production, being operated and earning revenue, is a non-polluting, megawatt-scale, utility-grade, 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 successful in finalizing the DOE loan guarantee support for our Stephentown, New York, facility, or complying with the conditions or ongoing covenants of that support; our need to comply with any disbursement or other conditions under the DOE grant program; a need to raise additional equity to fund Beacon's projects and its other operations in uncertain financial markets; conditions in target markets, including the fact that it has taken longer than anticipated for some ISOs to comply with FERC's requirement to update market rules to include new technology such as the Company's; 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 the current situation 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
SOURCE: Beacon Power Corporation