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NY helps put flywheel battery plan in motion

ALBANY, N.Y. - A plan to build an array of 200 flywheel batteries to store spare power from New York's electrical grid and transmit it back when needed has been approved by state regulators.

The state Public Service Commission authorized Stephentown Regulation Services LLC to construct and operate the seven-acre facility in Stephentown, near the Massachusetts line. The flywheel batteries will weigh a ton, levitate in a sealed chamber and spin up to 16,000 times per minute. The U.S. Department of Energy has granted the company a $43 million conditional loan guarantee to build the 20-megawatt plant. The PSC says Thursday the company will still have to obtain necessary federal, state, and local permits and approvals. Stephentown Regulation is a subsidiary of Tyngsborough, Mass.-based Beacon Power Corp.