TYNGSBORO, MA – April 2, 2013 — Beacon Power, LLC, the new company created when Rockland Capital acquired the assets of Beacon Power Corporation one year ago, has made significant progress – both technical and operational – and is well-positioned for continuing growth. The company is the world’s leading manufacturer of grid-scale flywheel energy storage systems and continues to strengthen its leadership position as a provider of clean, emissions-free frequency regulation services.
Stephentown flywheel plant delivering consistently high performance
Beacon’s industry-first 20-megawatt (MW) frequency regulation plant in Stephentown, New York, began full commercial operations in June 2011, and its performance has been exceptional – with no material technical issues since acquisition. Overall plant availability has been 97%, including 100% availability over the last four months.
Based on real-world data, the Stephentown plant’s 200 flywheels have performed more than 4,000 full charge/discharge cycles per year – which is a hallmark of Beacon’s flywheel technology. Their fast and accurate response to regulation control signals as they continuously recycle electricity has resulted in greater than 95% accuracy. This precision and fast ramp rate far surpasses that of fossil-fuel generators – the most common method of frequency regulation.
Barry Brits, Beacon’s CEO, said, “High reliability, low operating costs, and exceptionally robust cycle life that can be sustained for 20 years without degradation – these are defining characteristics that reinforce the value proposition of Beacon flywheels. They are the best resource available for correcting unpredictable, real-time supply and demand changes on electricity grids, and they have proven their durability and reliability with more than three million flywheel operating hours to date.”
Restarting manufacturing, reinvesting in the future
Beacon restarted manufacturing operations at its Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, facility in December 2012, and flywheels are once again in commercial production. Also in December, the company began construction of its next 20 MW frequency regulation facility, in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania. The initial 4 MW will be operational there in September 2013, with the plant expected to reach full commercial operation by mid-2014.
Beacon’s owners, Rockland Capital, performed a rigorous investment analysis prior to moving forward with construction of the second plant. Scott Harlan, Managing Partner at Rockland Capital, said, “We are very excited to have begun work on the Hazle project, which will help improve system-wide efficiency on the PJM power grid. At 20 MW it will be one of the largest fast-response energy storage resources in that market.”
Refining the economics and developing profitable markets
Following the acquisition, Beacon focused on strengthening the economic case for owning and operating flywheel plants for frequency regulation. For several years the company has been a leading advocate of pay-for-performance tariffs in deregulated electricity markets. Those efforts led to new market rules that are expected to provide Beacon fair compensation for its regulation services, while decreasing the overall cost to consumers for the regulation services required by the market. At the same time, the company implemented an aggressive internal cost reduction program and, where necessary, invested further to realize opportunities.
Beacon CEO Brits says, “Strong economic fundamentals and providing value to our customers drives our business. We have the lowest cost-per-cycle storage technology available for frequency regulation – and cycles are important because they quantify the frequency correction provided. Grids are volatile and the goal is increased efficiency. The most useful resource is one with high cycle life that can respond continuously and repeatedly at its full output range to smooth out large amounts of variability, which is exactly what Beacon offers.”
About Beacon Power, LLC
Beacon manufactures flywheel-based energy storage solutions for grid-connected and off-grid applications. The company has the largest composite flywheel in commercial operation at 25kWh, and the largest operational grid-tied flywheel energy storage facility at 20MW. Beacon’s systems integration team works with customers to optimize the benefits of fast-responding energy storage in a wide range of applications – from large-scale grid-connected plants to smaller micro-grid, smart grid and distributed off-grid uses. Beacon’s headquarters and manufacturing facility are based in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. For more information visit www.beaconpower.com.
About Rockland Capital
Rockland Capital, a private equity firm founded in 2003, is focused on the acquisition, optimization and development of companies and projects in the North American power sector. The firm manages Rockland Power Partners and Rockland Capital Energy Investments and has offices in Houston and New York. For further information visit www.rocklandcapital.com.