Bloomberg News

U.S. FERC Approves Rule to Benefit Energy-Storage Providers

October 20, 2011

(Adds background on rule in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously approved a rule that may increase payments from electric-grid operators to companies that help keep energy supply and demand in balance on the grid.

Among companies that may benefit are developers of battery storage for the grid and Beacon Power Corp., a Tyngsboro, Massachusetts-based maker of flywheels that store energy. Beacon received a $43 million federal loan guarantee in August 2010.

“This is a very important rule” to increase grid efficiency, FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said at today’s meeting.

FERC took action to remedy what the commission saw as practices that may not adequately benefit technologies designed to quickly adjust electricity imbalances on the grid.

The rule will allow grid operators to pay companies a market-based rate in addition to a fixed payment for helping to balance electricity flows. The rule will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Beacon’s backing came from a U.S. Energy Department clean- energy program that also supported Solyndra LLC, a failed solar- panel manufacturing company that had received a $535 million loan guarantee.

Beacon Power rose as much as 14 percent to 44 cents in New York trading after the agency’s action.

--Editors: Judy Pasternak, Bob Brennan

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Wingfield in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at

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