By Boston Business Journal

A US Department of Energy official this morning jumped into the discussion over Beacon Power Corp.â¿¿s (Nasdaq: BCON) Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing with a blog post that defends loan guarantees the federal government wrote to support the Tyngsborough, Mass. companyâ¿¿s energy flywheel technology.

Beacon Power declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Sunday, after taking at least $67 million in federal grants and loans, and at least $5 million from the state of Pennsylvania. Government loan guarantees totaling $43 million were written to help finance a plant in Stephentown, N.Y.

In a blog post, Monday, Dan Leistikow, director of the DOE Office of Public Affairs, called Beacon Power's Stephentown facility a "shock absorber for the power grid," noting that it can absorb sudden surges and compensate for sudden losses in power. "It is the first of its kind in the world and the largest operating flywheel or battery energy storage facility in North America," Leistikow wrote. "Ultimately, similar facilities could be built around the country and exported around the world.⿝

The blog goes on to stress that DOE officials have been monitoring Beacon Powerâ¿¿s financing, and loans that helped build the Stephentown facility are secured by the asset itself.

He also wrote, â¿¿This loan is the only senior, secured lender of the Stephentown project company, which owns the plant. The Department has been keeping close track of the finances of both Beacon Power and Stephentown Regulation Services, LLC (a Beacon Power subsidiary). The Department has instituted regular communication with the companies and their advisors on the project to ensure the highest level of accountability for the taxpayer investment. Protecting taxpayer dollars remains the top priority for Secretary Chu and the Department."

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