The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently chose Beacon Power Corp. to negotiate a $2.25 million award in support of developing a next-generation flywheel energy storage system with the capability to quadruple energy storage for one-eighth of the cost of Beacon’s current Smart Energy 25 (Gen 4) flywheel system.

The decision was made by the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E), an agency within DOE that provides research and development capital to fund transformational new energy technologies and systems.

“We are extremely pleased to be included among this very select list of cutting-edge energy storage projects funded by ARPA-E,” Bill Capp, Beacon president and CEO stated in the press release. “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 on the grid providing frequency regulation; the company said it expects that the commercialized, ARPA-E-funded flywheel system would be applicable to a variety of power needs.

The company proposed initiating the development of a next-generation flywheel energy storage module with a size of 100 kWh and 100 kW, capable of more than 40,000 full charge/discharge cycles in its lifetime, and lowering the cost per storage cycle below ARPA-E’s goal of $0.025/kWh.

The development program would take three years, commencing later this year, and is valued at a total of $2.8 million. Beacon would contribute $560,000, or 20 percent of the $2.8 million program total.

For more information visit www.beaconpower.com