Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Energy Efficiency

53 Megawatt Ice Energy Storage Project Begins In Glendale, California

About 24 municipal buildings in Southern California are about to help ease the strain on the grid created by the peak need for air conditioning on hot California afternoons. Over the next few weeks, a consortium of municipal utilities in California will begin retrofitting government offices and commercial properties with systems that use ice made at night using cheap surplus wind power to replace air-conditioning that they would have required during the afternoon.


The first cheap energy storage cooling units housed at distributed sites on the buildings will be networked, providing utilities with a resource that can be dispatched as needed to help manage demand on the grid.

The 53 MW distributed energy storage project will demonstrate savings, such that if put into general use, would reduce fuel consumption by the nation’s utilities by up to 30%, using efficiency “negawatts”, and by individual building owners by up to 90%.

The units are made by Colorado-based Ice Energy, a recipient of the DOE 30% tax credits for investments in new, expanded or re-equipped clean energy manufacturing projects, for bringing much-needed jobs to upstate New York where it will scale up its manufacturing operations.

Over the next two years, the 11 small participating utilities will install 6,000 of the devices at a total of 1,500 locations, providing 53 megawatts of energy storage to relieve strain on the grid, and coordinated by the Southern California Public Power Authority.

The units make cheap ice overnight, when demand for electricity is low, using a high-efficiency compressor to freeze 450 gallons of water. In the middle of the day, the device shuts off the regular air conditioner for the peak afternoon hours and instead pipes a stream of coolant from the slowly melting block of ice to an evaporator coil installed within the building’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning blower system until the entire ice block has melted – which should be sized to take about 6 hours – to cover for the peak afternoon load on the grid.

The utility also saves energy at other points in the grid–for example, cooler power lines at night transmit electricity more efficiently. Although ice storage systems have been used in large commercial buildings – the Bank of America Building in Manhattan is a LEED-Certified example – these tend to be expensive custom-built designs. This project uses mass-produced scalable modular units.

At $5,000 each, these will be within the means of commercial property-owners, and would bring up to 90% reduction in individual building’s fuel use. For California, the implications are huge. Large-scale implementation of Ice Energy’s (already tried and tested) small modular units as energy storage for the grid would put off the need to build new power plants. And not just in the SCCPA utility district.

Image: Flikr user MichaelMiettinen and Ice Energy


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has an important warning for us about autonomous vehicles, as well as other vehicles with cameras: We've learned this...


Tesla Models 3 and Model Y electric vehicles have outsold all new cars in California in the first quarter of 2022, even gas-powered vehicles....

Clean Power

Electrify America and Terra-Gen are teaming up to bring clean renewable energy to the EA charging network.

Clean Power

The solar power loan issuer Mosaic, based in Oakland, CA, recently announced two major milestones. It surpassed over $7 billion dollars in loans issued...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.