Gil Porter in Law360: Beacon PE Deal Bright Spot for DOE Program, Experts Say

03/06/2012

The $31 million bankruptcy sale of smart-grid technology firm Beacon Power Corp. to private equity investors, approved by regulators on Friday, is a surprise success story for the much-criticized U.S. Department of Energy loan program following the black eye it suffered with the failure of Solyndra LLC, experts said.

With help from a $43 million DOE loan in 2010, Beacon built a first-of-its-kind energy storage flywheel, which takes surplus power off the grid and then stores it for later use when power demand spikes.

...Flywheel technology is one possible product in a smart grid marketplace that is still taking shape, said Haynes and Boone LLP partner Gilbert Porter.

Meanwhile, Solyndra was trying to make more efficient solar panels in a crowded market that was increasingly moving to cheaper Chinese factories.

“Solyndra was competing against an existing market, and that market moved past them,” he said. “Eventually, they had a technology that wasn't really worth much to the market.”

Excerpt from Law360, March 5, 2012. To view the full article, click here (subscription required).

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