Beacon Power installing 1-MW flywheel energy storage system at NorthWestern Energy's natural gas-fired Dave Gates power plant near Anaconda, Montana; storage system scheduled to begin operating later this year
September 29, 2011
– Beacon Power Corporation (Nasdaq:BCON - News), a leading provider of fast-response energy storage systems and services to support a more stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid, and NorthWestern Energy, a major Montana-based utility, held a joint media conference on September 28th to highlight the progress and integration of Beacon's 1-megawatt (MW) flywheel energy storage system into the Dave Gates Generation Station ("DGGS") at Mill Creek near Anaconda, Montana.
Speakers at the event included Bob Rowe, NorthWestern Energy president and CEO, Mike Cashell, vice president of transmission, and Bill Capp, Beacon Power president and CEO. Following the presentations and a Q&A period, attendees were given a tour of the site, which also includes the Dave Gates Generating Station, a natural gas-fired plant that provides regulation service for NorthWestern's customers.
"This project is a great opportunity to determine how flywheel technology can be effectively integrated into the operation of DGGS," said Bill Capp. "Studies have shown that fast-responding energy storage technology like flywheels can augment conventional fossil fuel-based regulation resources and thereby improve their performance. We look forward to demonstrating this project in operation with the DGGS."
"NorthWestern Energy is pleased to work with Beacon Power to gain additional understanding of and operational experience with flywheel technology," said Bob Rowe, president and CEO of NorthWestern Energy. "We are excited to learn more about this technology and how it integrates with the operation of the Dave Gates Generating Station."
"NorthWestern Energy deserves significant credit for their vision and leadership in incorporating advanced flywheel energy storage technology as part of their regulation assets," said Virgil Rose, Beacon Power Chairman. "Today's utilities face numerous challenges in maintaining stable and reliable electricity grids, especially with the increase in intermittent renewable energy resources like wind and solar. We believe that our fast-responding flywheel systems are an ideal complement to conventional regulation methods and we look forward to working together with NorthWestern Energy."
Once the system is operational later this year, Beacon and NorthWestern Energy will work closely together to develop the flywheel system's control signal algorithms to determine how best to optimize performance of the adjacent DGGS, and to evaluate and quantify the impact and potential benefits of the flywheel resource. The companies will also seek to determine the optimum amount of flywheel regulation capacity for the site should NorthWestern elect to expand the flywheel capacity.
Beacon owns and operates a 20-megawatt (MW) flywheel-based energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York, that provides regulation services to the state's power grid. The Company is also planning to build a second 20 MW plant in Pennsylvania.
About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 661,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the Company's website at www.northwesternenergy.com
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, is a non-polluting, megawatt-scale, fast-response flywheel-based solution designed to provide less expensive, more sustainable and effective regulation services to power grids around the world. The Company's business strategy is both to supply 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 http://www.beaconpower.com.