Beacon, Kobe Steel Enter Flywheel AgreementJanuary 13, 1999 by Jeff Shepard
The Beacon Power Corp., subsidiary of SatCon Technology Corp. (Cambridge, MA) has entered an agreement with Kobe Steel Ltd. (Japan) for the evaluation of Beacon's 20C1000 Cable/Telecom Flywheel System. In addition to evaluating the flywheel system in its own laboratory, Kobe will also make the systems available to Japanese telephone, cable and wireless providers for field trials. Kobe expects to supply the first system to a large Japanese telecommunication company in March of this year, and envisions a substantial opportunity for flywheel systems in markets which now rely on battery technology for backup, according to SatCon.Beacon Power President and CEO William Stanton commented, "The agreement with Kobe Steel, as well as the previously announced agreement with ABB and Bell Atlantic Network Services Inc., provide tremendous momentum for Beacon's field trial program and reaffirmation that the market for this product is significant. We believe that additional field trial agreements with other industry leaders will be announced in the coming months."Shigeti Kotani, director of Kobe Steel's machinery division, stated, "Because of their environmental advantages, flywheels are going to be of growing importance to industry and people's lives in the early 21st century. We are optimistic that the Beacon flywheel system will have a significant impact in Japan and other Asian markets. This agreement is another indication of the strength of Kobe Steel's long-term relationship with SatCon Technology."