SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Ice Energy’s partnership with Riverside (California) Public Utilities (RPU) was honored with a Public-Private Partnership award, recognizing their commitment to job creation and economic growth. The award was given by California’s Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), the region’s largest economic development organization.

Ice Energy established its Idea Lab, a new research and development center in Riverside, in mid-2015. In January, the lab released a residential version of Ice Energy’s thermal energy storage system. Designed to lessen residential air conditioning load, the system helps utilities reduce peak demand and supports homeowners’ efforts to lower their electric bills and carbon footprints. The center has already created a dozen jobs and will partner with local universities on research projects and training opportunities for recent graduates.

In addition, Ice Energy is providing 5 megawatts (MW) of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage capacity under a five-year contract from RPU, using the company’s Ice Bear systems. The project will help the city manage its peak energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and achieve environmental objectives, while ensuring the lowest energy costs for customers.

“We’re really proud of our work with Ice Energy and we’re grateful that the work is being recognized,” said Girish Balachandran, Riverside Public Utilities general manager.

The Ice Bear system is an ice battery that attaches to commercial HVAC rooftop units or integrates with residential cooling systems. During off-peak hours, the Ice Bear creates ice to store cooling energy. During peak hours, stored ice provides cooling using only 5 percent of the power that otherwise would be required, said the company. Each unit can also lower CO2 emissions by up to 2,000 lbs. per year. Ice Bear systems can be deployed in smart grid-enabled, megawatt-scale fleets, with installation as easy as a standard HVAC system. Ice Energy trains and hires local, certified HVAC contractors to install Ice Bears, creating economic opportunities in each region.

“We inject 40 percent of our utility partners’ investments back into the local economy, and, like distributed solar projects, each one of our programs creates local jobs. We’re excited to be part of RPU’s commitment to deliver clean, cost-effective electricity to their customers and proud to help the city support local businesses,” said Mike Hopkins, Ice Energy’s CEO.

More than 1,000 Ice Bear systems have been installed in over 40 utility service territories nationwide, surpassing 33 million hours of operation.

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Publication date: 3/18/2016

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