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WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary Steven Chu today announced $59 million in conditional loan guarantees from the Department of Energy for Nordic Windpower, USA, and Beacon Power. Nordic Windpower has been offered $16 million to support the expansion of its assembly plant in Pocatello, Idaho, to produce its one megawatt wind turbine. Beacon Power, an energy storage company, has been offered $43 million to support the construction of its 20 megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York that will help ensure the reliable delivery of renewable energy to the electricity grid.
As stated by Secretary Chu, "These projects represent the innovative technologies that will help America reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and fight climate change," while moving the nation closer to meeting President Obama's goal of doubling renewable power.
These are the second and third conditional commitments for loan guarantees made by the Obama administration. In March, the Department made its first conditional loan guarantee for $535 million to Solyndra, Inc., which plans to construct a manufacturing plant to bring its cutting-edge solar technology to the commercial market. Secretary Chu has made it the priority of the Department to streamline the loan guarantee process by simplifying paperwork requirements and providing additional resources to process applications. The loan guarantees announced today will be supported through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Nordic Windpower, USA
Nordic Windpower, USA was offered a conditional commitment for $16 million to support the tooling and commercial-scale up of its assembly plant in Pocatello, Idaho. Nordic's proprietary one megawatt wind turbine uses two blades and a patented teeter-hub technology that dampens loads, resulting in a lightweight turbine at least 10% less costly to manufacture, install, operate and maintain than competing systems.
The Nordic wind turbine represents significantly improved technology which enables the turbine blades to flex at the hub, partially dissipating the eccentric loads, or turbulent winds, before they reach the drive train. This makes Nordic's turbines more reliable and enables them to achieve structural integrity at a lower cost than more rigid designs.
The teeter hub design also makes it possible to deploy two blades, rather than three. The two blade design reduces installation cost, since the blades can be attached to the hub and nacelle on the ground and lifted into place with one single crane operation.
Beacon Power, an energy storage company headquartered in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, was offered a conditional commitment for $43 million. Beacon Power designs and develops advanced products and services to support more stable, reliable and efficient grid operation. The loan guarantee will support the construction of Beacon's 20 megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York that will help ensure the reliable delivery of renewable energy to the electricity grid. Beacon's innovative flywheel system, the core component of the 20 megawatt plant, is specifically optimized to perform frequency regulation on utility grids by absorbing and discharging energy to maintain the consistency and reliability of the electric grid.
Beacon's 20 megawatt power plant project will introduce a newly developed, not yet commercial technology to provide frequency regulation services to increase the nation's use of renewable energy and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.