Energy Firm That Got Federal Funds Declares Bankruptcy

By RANDALL CHASE | October 31, 2011 | 11:20 AM EDT

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Massachusetts energy company that received a $24 million federal stimulus grant and a $43 million federal loan guarantee has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Beacon Power of Tyngsboro, Mass., filed for Chapter 11 protection on Sunday in bankruptcy court in Delaware, listing assets of $72 million and debts of $47 million.

Beacon makes flywheel energy storage systems used to keep power frequency steady on electrical grids by absorbing excess power, then returning the energy when needed.

Beacon said its long-term financial prospects are strong, but that efforts to build its business have been capital intensive, and that those costs have contributed to operating losses.

The company also cited the current economic and political climate, the financing terms mandated by the Department of Energy, and its recent delisting notice from NASDAQ.