Project Demonstrates Amber Kinetics’ Readily Deployable Four-Hour Flywheel Energy Storage Technology
Energy storage advantages offered by Amber Kinetics’ four-hour discharge duration steel flywheels will be demonstrated by the West Boylston Municipal Lighting Plant (WBMLP), which was awarded a highly competitive Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) grant by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) earlier today.
WBMLP will deploy a 128 kW storage plant (16 Amber Kinetics 8 kW flywheels) that will be operational before the end of 2018. The demonstration, a joint project by WBMLP, Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) and Amber Kinetics, was selected from “a very competitive round of the program,” said MassCEC.
The innovative system will be interconnected to an existing WBMLP solar energy distributed generation facility and will demonstrate readily replicable projects that will prime Massachusetts for increased commercialization and deployment of energy storage technologies.
“We look forward to demonstrating the significant economic and performance benefits of our flywheel energy storage system to West Boylston Municipal Light Plant,” said Ed Chiao, chief executive officer, Amber Kinetics. “And through the participation of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company, to share those benefits with other municipal utilities, for deployment both behind and in front of the meter.”
“We are very excited to host and showcase a unique, readily deployable, replicable, sustainable technology that will help diversify energy storage options available in the Commonwealth,” said Jonathon Fitch, general manager, WBMLP. “We will be the first in the Northeast to demonstrate how Amber Kinetics’ flywheels bring value to our customers.”
In addition to providing a safer, more sustainable alternative to chemical batteries, the project will enhance the value of WBMLP’s solar system by storing and shifting the use of that energy into peak periods, reducing WBMLP’s peak load and transmission and capacity charges, capturing energy arbitrage opportunities and increasing WBMLP’s grid reliability. Payback is anticipated in under four years.
With 40+ years of experience helping municipal utilities achieve their strategic vision and optimize their energy portfolios, MMWEC will play a key role in the project, monitoring and evaluating project metrics.
“These grant awards represent the commitment of Massachusetts municipal utilities to the state’s carbon-free energy goals,” said MMWEC Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. DeCurzio. “This project will serve as a demonstration project for other municipal light plants, and we look forward to sharing replicable aspects with other utilities interested in pursuing energy storage technologies.”
Amber Kinetics’ flywheel energy storage systems offer substantial benefits for a wide range of utility and commercial applications. The firm’s breakthrough technology extends the duration and efficiency of flywheels from minutes to hours, resulting in safe, economical and reliable energy storage for a variety of utility-scale applications, including load shifting, peak shaving, frequency regulation, renewable firming and spinning reserve.
Amber Kinetics’ flywheels are designed for high utilization with no performance degradation, zero variable O&M, and minimal maintenance. They perform with the same high efficiency and instantaneous response time in normal and extreme climates. The flywheels are 98 percent steel by weight, which is recyclable at project end. The flywheels and related equipment have no emissions and require no storage or disposal of hazardous chemicals.
About Amber Kinetics
Winner of pv magazine’s Array Changing Technology Award 2017, Amber Kinetics began shipping pre-commercial flywheels in September 2016 and commercial units in 2017. To date, the company’s fleet of demonstration units has accumulated 27,000 hours of run time domestically and abroad. The firm is headquartered in Union City, CA. For information, visit amberkinetics.com.
The West Boylston Municipal Light Plant (WBMLP), a community owned municipal light plant (MLP) located in central Massachusetts and has provided reliable and low cost electricity service to approximately 3,500 customers in West Boylston MA since 1908.
MMWEC is the joint action agency for public power in Massachusetts, providing a variety of power supply, financial, risk management and other services to the state’s consumer-owned, municipal utilities. MMWEC was created in 1969 and became a non-profit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth in 1976, empowered to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance energy facilities for the benefit of municipal utilities and their customers.
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