PASADENA, Calif. - The Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) and Ice Energy, a leading provider of energy storage solutions utilizing ice storage, have announced an agreement to undertake what is believed to be the nation’s largest utility-scale distributed energy storage project.

The 53 megawatt (MW) project, to be implemented by SCPPA member utilities throughout Southern California, is expected to permanently reduce California’s peak electrical demand due to summer air conditioning use by shifting as much as 64 gigawatt hours of on-peak electrical demand to off-peak periods every year via ice storage, reducing the need for costly peak power and improving the reliability of the electric grid.

“Ice Energy’s solution is a convenient and cost-effective solution for managing peak demand, and aligns perfectly with our smart grid initiatives - enabling our member utilities to deliver reliable, competitively priced electric service to their customers in a sustainable, environmentally-sensitive manner,” said Bill Carnahan, executive director of SCPPA. “By using storage to change how - and more importantly when - energy is consumed by air conditioning, we can offset enough peak demand in the region to serve the equivalent of 10,000 homes.”

This agreement also allows SCPPA to enable the expansion of this storage solution for other municipal utilities and agencies in Southern California, representing hundreds of additional megawatts.

Ice Energy’s energy storage system leverages the higher efficiencies associated with generating and transmitting energy off-peak, storing it at thousands of distributed locations and employing the smart grid to intelligently dispatch the energy during times of peak demand.

“SCPPA’s selection of Ice Energy’s solution is truly a win-win for all stakeholders. Member utilities can better meet their goals to reduce peak demand, ratepayers are protected against the rising costs of peak power, and the growing supply of clean off-peak wind generation can be more reliably integrated,” said Frank Ramirez, CEO of Ice Energy. “SCPPA and its members have shown extraordinary leadership at the forefront of reshaping the future of our energy system, forever changing the way we deliver and consume energy in this country.”

Installation of the Ice Energy storage systems will begin in the first half of 2010, with deployment scheduled over two years.

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Publication date:02/22/2010