Author: HIawatha Bray Source: Boston Globe (
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Clean energy firm Beacon Power LLC of Tyngsboro is partnering with Alaska electric utility TDX Power to install one of Beacon's flywheel energy storage systems on St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea.
Beacon Power stores electric power in massive flywheels that at 10,000 revolutions per minute. These flywheels are spun up at times of day when power is cheap and plentiful. The energy is released as needed to smooth out short-term fluctuations in power demand.
Beacon received a $43 million federal loan in 2010, but filed for bankruptcy the following year. Rockland Capital, a private equity firm, bought up Beacon's assets, repaid most of the borrowed federal money, and relaunched the company. Beacon presently operates flywheel energy storage systems in Stephentown, N.Y., and Hazle, Pa.