VIDEO: Beacon Power to build flywheel, battery energy storage system in Alaska

The project will combine proven and durable high-power flywheel energy storage technology from Beacon Power, with an existing lower duty-cycle conventional electrochemical battery for use during periods when additional energy is needed

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Beacon Power, manufacturer of grid-scale flywheel energy storage systems, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Chugach Electric Association to supply flywheels for an innovative hybrid energy storage project in Anchorage, Alaska.

The project will combine proven and durable high-power flywheel energy storage technology from Beacon Power, with an existing lower duty-cycle conventional electrochemical battery for use during periods when additional energy is needed.

This advanced hybrid energy storage resource combines the benefits of fast-responding flywheels with longer-duration batteries to help manage and stabilize variable output from renewable energy sources. The systems will be installed at a substation next to Chugach headquarters and are expected to go into operation later in 2015.

Beacon and Chugach will test the 320 kW system to determine if the new storage solution can be scaled up in the future to enable increasing amounts of renewables to interconnect with remote system utilities along the Alaska Railbelt. Alaska's Railbelt region, named for areas reached by rail, stretches north from the Kenai Peninsula more than 500 miles to Fairbanks and is home to 70 percent of Alaska's population.

Chugach has received funding support for this new project from the Alaska Energy Authority's Emerging Energy Technology Fund.

This will be the third utility installation of Beacon's modular 160 kW flywheel energy storage system, which is the next generation of the 100 kW flywheels in commercial operation at 20 MW plants in New York (NYISO market) and Pennsylvania (PJM market).

The new system is a stand-alone configuration of a flywheel with the integrated power electronics and flywheel controls in a single, separate enclosure and is fully scalable from one flywheel to hundreds.

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