Those interested in data centers are more than likely interested in power, renewables, the grid, the smart grid, etc., as it is of vital importance to ensuring maximum uptime. Upon my holiday surfing recently I came across an interesting article about flywheels and flywheel frequency regulation. I've been intrigued about flywheels recently because....... well, just because.
Beacon Power (BCON) announced that they have made substantial progress toward completion and partial start-up of the 20-megawatt (MW) flywheel frequency regulation plant the Company is building in Stephentown, New York. If you aren't sure what flywheel frequency regulation is, check out their explanation here. Popular Mechanics listed Flywheel energy storage as the '#1 Tech concept you need to know for 2011'.
The Stephentown plant has had 100 of the total 200 flywheels installed. When finished the 20MW plant will operate continuously, storing and returning energy to the grid to provide approximately 10% of New York's overall frequency regulation needs. The project was financed from a $43 million guaranteed loan from the DOE.
Beacon is authorized for 5 of the U.S. power grids and according to their annual presentation this past summer they are applying a $24 smart grid stimulus to a second plant in either Chicago or Hazle township, Pennsylvania.
Beacon's stock is certainly not very promising, but I think the use for their product/service is interesting and has a lot of potential as energy storage and regulation evolve with an increasing amount of renewable energy sources feeding the grid.