Southern Company teams with Active Power, MGE UPS SYSTEMS to market flywheel-based power quality technology

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Southern Company, Active Power, Inc., and MGE UPS SYSTEMS, INC., today announced a partnership to market advanced power quality technology that provides industrial and other customers with the highest level of protection from brief electricity outages.

This power quality system is based on the CleanSource™ flywheel from Austin, Texas-based Active Power, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment from Costa, Mesa, Calif.-based MGE UPS SYSTEMS.

The need for quality power for Southern Company’s industrial customers has grown tremendously over the years with the proliferation of microprocessor controls. Southern Company Energy Solutions is introducing two flywheel-based UPS system products that meet this growing need: Glitch Protection and Continuous Power. These products are temperature insensitive, energy efficient, compact, predictable, require low maintenance, and have a long shelf life.

More reliable than previous technologies, the flywheel was designed never to need replacing, far outlasting conventional battery-based technologies.

Flywheel technology is essentially a device for storing energy in a rotating area. Flywheel technology can be a cost-effective solution for short outage and sag protection—two problems that can cost industries billions of dollars a year. The Glitch Protection system eliminates short duration outages and blips, providing significant productivity improvements at facilities. The Continuous Power system is most applicable for companies needing longer ride through capability and highly specific energy needs.

“This partnership validates flywheel-UPS as the most reliable and cost-effective way to improve power quality for the industrial customer. It also offers another competitive advantage in today’s deregulated electricity market,” said Bertram Sears, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company Energy Solutions.

“From our first beta customer in 1997 to now a volume distributor, Southern Company continues to lead the way in taking to market innovative technologies like the CleanSource," said Joe Pinkerton, Active Power president and founder. "The CleanSource flywheel has performed consistently and reliably in providing quality power for Southern Company`s industrial customers.”

“With our new partners at Southern Company and Active Power, we have demonstrated a strong commitment among three solid companies to deliver one of the industry’s most advanced power protection solutions,” said Dave Petratis, President, MGE UPS SYSTEMS. “The CleanSource flywheel, teamed with MGE UPS products, ensures Southern Company’s industrial customers a high level of power protection for their mission-critical applications.”

About Active Power

Active Power was established in 1996. The company’s revolutionary first product, CleanSource, is the world’s first fully integrated flywheel energy storage system. It is marketed to the power quality industry. Customers include electric utilities, data centers, industrial manufacturing companies and other organizations that require cost effective, quality electrical power. More information on CleanSource and Active Power can be found at


MGE UPS SYSTEMS, a $550 million UPS manufacturer, provides a complete line of power management tools and solutions. MGE offers the industry`s most integrated family of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems and related communications software to protect a wide range of products -- from stand alone PCs and PC networks to entire enterprise wide facilities. Headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., MGE has achieved worldwide recognition for its Merlin Gerin, Square D, EPE and Topaz brand products. More information about the company can be found at

About Southern Company

Southern Company Energy Solutions offers customized, total energy solutions from standard energy-related products and services and long-term performance based contracts to on-site energy management.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an international energy company with more than $35 billion in assets through regional utilities and operations around the world. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the world’s leading independent power producers. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, Southern Company supplies electricity in 10 countries on four continents and has a growing presence in North America with assets in the Northeast, the Midwest, California and Texas. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services in the United States and Europe and offers Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.