SAN DIEGO — Ice Energy, a provider of distributed thermal energy storage solutions, has announced the launch of Solar + Ice, which bundles its Ice Bear thermal energy storage unit with rooftop solar PV to deliver a cost-effective solar-plus-storage solution.
The company’s Solar + Ice bundle is being made available to utilities through long-term power purchase agreements (PPA) that guarantee performance. Ice Energy is partnering with leading solar companies including NRG Energy.
“Solar has proven itself to be a low-cost, reliable, and green generation resource, but its intermittent nature has limited its value to the grid,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy. “Until now, the missing piece has been cost-effective and reliable storage. Our new bundle solves the problem.”
Ice Energy noted that the Solar + Ice solution is being introduced on the heels of California’s new legislation requiring half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2030. “Solar + Ice stands ready to help meet state mandates for renewables and federal regulations to come,” said Hopkins.
The Ice Bear used in the Solar + Ice bundle is a behind-the-meter system that attaches to one or more standard 5-20 ton commercial HVAC rooftop units. The Ice Bear freezes water when demand for power is low. Then when the utility desires the capacity, stored ice is dispatched to provide cooling instead of power-intensive a/c compressors. Each system is networked and aggregated for dispatch as an entire fleet or as any subset.
“Currently available batteries are expensive, wear out, and their chemicals create disposal issues,” Hopkins said. “In contrast, energy storage using ice is the greenest, most cost-effective method to integrate renewables into the grid and is truly worthy of solar.”
Deployments of solar-plus-storage nationwide are expected to jump from 4 megawatts in 2014 to 22 megawatts this year, according to research from Greentech Media. By 2020, the market is projected to be worth $3.1 billion with deployments of 769 megawatts.
For more information about Ice Energy, visit http://ice-energy.com.
Publication date: 10/29/2015