Amber Kinetics flywheel energy storage tech passes utilities group test

The demonstration project evaluated the efficiency of Amber Kinetics’ flywheels and investigated the system’s capabilities to provide services, including load shifting and ancillary services needed for grid stabilization

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An independent study released by California’s Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council (ETCC) concludes that Amber Kinetics’ four-hour discharge duration flywheel energy storage technology (FES) effectively shifts load in a cost effective manner, and recommends it for adoption into California's Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

Based on test data from an Amber Kinetics M25 flywheel (6.25kW/25kWh), independent engineering firm ASWB conducted a financial payback analysis with three scenarios (no incentives, hypothetical permanent load shifting, and hypothetical SGIP) using a San Diego Gas & Electric Time of Use rate.

In the SGIP scenario, the Amber Kinetics flywheel produced a payback of between 2.09 and 3.17 years, and an internal rate of return of between 33 percent and 49 percent.

The demonstration project evaluated the efficiency of Amber Kinetics’ flywheels and investigated the system’s capabilities to provide services, including load shifting and ancillary services needed for grid stabilization.

The authors concluded that Amber Kinetics flywheels performance “…speaks to the consistency, reliability and simplicity of the technology.” While they noted that their research focused on behind the meter applications, they also stated, “Utilizing this emerging technology on the supply side would provide the grid with more flexibility and load regulation opportunities.”

“I’m delighted with the results, especially since they were produced by an early production model which has since been replaced with a newer, more powerful flywheel,” said Amber Kinetics CEO Ed Chiao.

To help achieve the state’s ambitious energy savings goals, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Co., San Diego Gas & Electric, and the California Energy Commission created the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council with oversight from the California Public Utilities Commission. The ETCC Leadership Team has grown to include California’s largest municipal utilities, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

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