SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Ice Energy announced it has been awarded a five-year contract from Riverside Public Utilities to provide 5 megawatts of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage using Ice Energy’s proprietary Ice Bear system. The program will kick off this spring.

The city of Riverside, California, selected Ice Energy to align with its Utility 2.0 smart grid and renewable energy plan. Ice Energy’s product, the Ice Bear, is a thermal energy storage technology that will help Riverside Public Utilities better integrate its increasing reliance on renewable energy resources like solar, wind, and geothermal systems to maintain low energy costs for its customers.

“This is our first energy storage project launching a new era — Utility 2.0 — for the city of Riverside,” said Girish Balchandran, general manager for Riverside Public Utilities. “We chose Ice Energy’s technology to improve grid reliability and to reduce peak capacity of commercial business air conditioning for many reasons — it will help to minimize infrastructure investment, help to achieve our environmental objectives all while ensuring the lowest energy costs for customers. The project also creates an economic development opportunity whereby 30-40 percent of the project investment will go right back into our community using labor and project materials sourced locally to install and operate the thermal energy storage equipment.”

Ice Energy’s product, the Ice Bear, attaches to one or more standard 5-20 ton commercial rooftop air conditioning units. The Ice Bear freezes ice at night when demand for power is low and capacity is high. Then during the day, the stored ice is used to provide cooling, instead of power-intensive air conditioning compressors, helping to reduce peak use surges.

“Riverside Public Utilities has keen insight into innovations that best serve its customers and community. The Ice Bear technology will not only reduce the city’s peak usage and reliance on fossil fuels, but will also reinvest ratepayer money into the local economy,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy.

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Publication date: 3/23/2015

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