Southern Development, UTA to develop advanced flywheel

Southern Development and Investment Group and United Technologies Automotive have agreed to develop and distribute an advanced electricity storage device. The announcement was made today by Southern Development President Kevin Fletcher and UTA President Norman R. Bodine.

The storage device, which is a mechanical “battery,” is based on more than four years of flywheel development by United Technologies for automotive applications. Southern Development will use the prototype flywheel energy storage system for power quality, uninterruptible power supply, and load management applications.

The two companies hope that flywheel devices eventually will provide customers with uninterruptible power for sensitive electronic equipment, as well as the storage of low-cost electricity at night for next-day use.

“With this advanced flywheel system, The Southern Company will be able to offer its customers enhanced service and greater control,” Fletcher said.

“We believe that the synergistic effect of the automotive and commercial/utility programs will greatly reduce time to market for both,” Bodine said. “We also expect that lessons learned in developing both systems will lead to more economical, lower-cost systems for both markets.”

Southern Development is a subsidiary of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO), which is the parent firm of five electric utilities: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power, and Savannah Electric. Other subsidiaries include Southern Electric International, Southern Nuclear, Southern Communications, and Southern Company Services. The Southern Company’s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.

UTA is a full-service supplier of electrical, electronic, and interior trim systems and components to car and light truck manufacturers. Its products are part of nearly every passenger vehicle built in North America and Europe.

UTA is a subsidiary of Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX), which provides a broad range of high-technology products and services to the aerospace, building systems, and automotive industries.