Beacon Power Files for Bankruptcy

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted October 31, 2011

**Editor’s Note Update: Energy and Capital’s up-to-date resource page on energy storage companies, like Beacon Power, is ready for you.

Energy storage company Beacon Power filed for bankruptcy this weekend, just two months after the collapse of solar company Solyndra.

Slightly more unnerving is the fact that the company had received a loan from the same Energy Department loan guarantee program as Solyndra.

Beacon Power made flywheels for the power grid – their product facilitates the movement of energy through the grid.

At the beginning of this year, the company opened a big, 20-megawatt plant in Stephentown, NY, a project that was aided by the $43 million loan from the U.S. agency, Bloomberg reported.

The company had also received an additional $29 million in state loans to build a similar facility in Pennsylvania.

But in the bankruptcy filing, Beacon revealed that it owes $47 million in debt, including $39 million of the Energy Department loan, the article reports.

The company has $72 million in assets.

As Bloomberg reports, Beacon received a delisting notice by the Nasdaq after their stock fell under $1, and the continued drop played a hand in the company’s failure.

Beacon Power CEO F. William Capp discussed the causes of the bankruptcy with Bloomberg:

“The current economic and political climate, the financing terms mandated by DOE, and Beacon’s recent delisting notice from Nasdaq have together severely restricted Beacon’s access to additional investments through the equity markets.”

The Department of Energy loan program is to undergo a 60-day evaluation after the second consecutive failure of one of its loan recipients.

The Obama administration is looking to restructure the loan program and keep it under better management in order to guard against these failures in the future.

Cliff Sterns, a chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, talked to The Hill about this problem:

“The latest failure is a sharp reminder that DOE has fallen well short of delivering the stimulus jobs that were promised, and now taxpayers find themselves millions of more dollars in the hole.”

Solyndra had received the biggest solar loan given by the Obama administration, Bloomberg reports, to build a factory in California, before the company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

The article reports that Beacon Power had 22 current and 6 pending patents in the U.S., with 11 current and 17 pending abroad.

The company saw an 80% drop on the Nasdaq this year alone, said Bloomberg. Beacon closed at $0.45 on October 28.

That’s all for now,


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