Beacon Power moves ahead on second plant

HAZLE TOWNSHIP, PENNSYLVANIA - Beacon Power Corp. said it's gotten the go-ahead to use the majority of a federal grant for the construction of its second commercial plant, to be located in Pennsylvania.

The Tyngsborough, Mass.-based company, a maker of "flywheel" energy storage technology, said it received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to use up to 95 percent of the $24 million Smart Grid grant it was awarded for the plant in late 2009. The 20-megawatt plant is slated for Hazle Township, Penn., and so far Beacon had only been able to draw up to 4 percent of the money.

The plant will cost a total of $50 million, and the grant funds will help pay for material, equipment and construction expenses, Beacon said. The company didn't specify when the construction could begin or reach completion.

The companyÂ’s first commercial plant is located in Stephentown, N.Y., which connected its first megawatts to the grid in January. Beacon said in March that 14 of the 20 megawatts were connected, with the full plant expected to be online during the second quarter.

The flywheel systems provide frequency regulation service, which helps to stabilize the electric grid by balancing power supply levels during moment-to-moment variations in demand.

Beacon also noted that it has filed a shelf registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. If declared effective, the statement will permit the company to sell up to $100 million of common stock, preferred stock, debt securities and other securities.


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