Correcting momentary imbalances in generation and load is critical to maintaining a stable power grid. However, achieving this balance in real-time has always been a challenging task due to the time it takes conventional power generators to ramp their power output up or down to support these constant power system fluctuations. Beacon flywheel storage systems have much faster ramp rates than traditional generation and can correct imbalances sooner with much greater accuracy and efficiency. In fact, Beacon flywheels can ramp to full power nearly instantaneously. This fast response makes flywheels and ideal resource to provide regulation services thus freeing up thermal generators to service the energy market and operate at higher output levels, improving fuel efficiency and reducing emission rates. The steadier operation also reduces generator wear and tear and associated system operation and maintenance costs.
Constantly available frequency regulation resources are becoming more critical to maintaining grid reliability, especially as intermittent generation increases alter the dynamics of the generation supply stack. The importance of this service has resulted in new regulatory policies such as FERC Order 755 which recognizes the value provided by resources that provide fast-responding and accurate frequency regulation service through a performance-based market structure. For an existing generation plant providing ancillary services, operating with flywheels in a hybrid configuration can improve the resources generation responsiveness and performance scores to increase ancillary service revenues while at the same time providing savings by reducing generation operating costs.
8,008,804 (other U.S. and international patents pending).