GLENDALE, Calif. - Ice Energy has announced plans with municipal utility Glendale Water & Power (GWP) to install 1.5 megawatts (MW) of thermal energy storage on Glendale city buildings and local businesses under a $4.25 million program. The project in Glendale marks the initial rollout of Ice Energy’s large-scale 53 MW thermal energy ice storage project with members of the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), to be implemented by participating municipal utilities throughout Southern California. The project is expected to reduce peak electrical demand by shifting as many as 64 gigawatt hours of electrical consumption from peak to off-peak periods every year, reducing costly peak power needs and improving the reliability of the electrical grid.

The majority of the program in Glendale is being underwritten through $20 million in federal stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for GWP’s Smart Grid project, which includes an advanced metering program for electricity, in addition to energy storage, to help increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption.

Storing energy off peak via ice storage and delivering it on peak at the point of consumption, Ice Energy said its Ice Bear system is specifically developed for use on small to mid-sized commercial buildings.

Under the initial phase of the program, conventional air conditioning units on 28 Glendale city facilities will be replaced with new, higher-efficiency units and paired with Ice Bear energy storage systems to create a hybrid cooling solution that delivers a significant change in how - and, more importantly, when - energy is consumed for air conditioning. Air conditioning energy demand - typically 40-50 percent of a building’s electricity use during peak hours - will be reduced by as much as 95 percent, said Ice Energy.

In addition, the program will fund the additional installation of similar systems for more than 250 local businesses in the city of Glendale.

“Ice Energy’s solution is a simple, cost-effective solution for managing peak demand, and aligns perfectly with our smart grid initiatives - enabling us to deliver reliable, competitively priced electric service to our customers in a sustainable, environmentally-sensitive manner,” said Glenn Steiger, GWP general manager. “The Ice Bear project is a key step in achieving these goals for the benefit of all our customers and the city of Glendale, and embodies all of the aspects we look for: managing electrical consumption, improving efficiency, reducing our environmental footprint, and lowering energy costs for our customers.”

Steiger added, “GWP is confident that our smart grid and storage initiative will serve as a model for others to follow in California and across the nation, while enabling Glendale to remain a leader in green energy and environmental sustainability and helping our customers reduce their energy bills.”

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Publication date:06/07/2010