Leading US power company NRG has announced it will work with a leading provider of distributed ice battery storage, Ice Energy, to deploy Ice Bear storage systems on qualifying commercial and industrial buildings in Orange County.
The two companies made the announcement on Wednesday, revealing that Ice Energy would partner with NRG to deliver up to 1,800 Ice Energy behind-the-meter ice batteries to customers in Orange County — as part of a procurement order by Southern California Edison (SCE) — that is the world’s largest deployment of ice batteries ever.
“Our distributed ice batteries will solve local grid issues in Orange County while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 200,000 tons over the life of the project,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy. “Orange County commercial and industrial customers that qualify for the program will get free use of Ice Bears, lowering electric bills and further extending the life of their HVAC systems.”
Ice batteries might sound far-fetched, but they are not only proven and reliable, they are cost-effective and clean too. When demand for power is low the battery will freeze water, and use the energy stored in ice to cool buildings during peak hours without using the power-intensive conventional air conditioner compressors. In fact, air conditioning units which are equipped with Ice Bears are said to consume up to 95% less electricity during peak hours, subsequently helping to reduce air conditioning bills by up to 40%.
Considering that the heating and cooling energy sector is one of the most intensive, these innovative, situation-specific technologies will only grow to be more invaluable.
The partnership between NRG and Ice Energy is one of three new programs NRG is providing SCE customers, which are intended to reduce energy consumption and emissions during peak hours, while simultaneously enhancing the reliability of individual facilities and the overall power grid in Southern California.
“The partnerships with SCE, local businesses and our technology providers are designed to provide cost savings and enhance electric grid reliability as we help California meet its aggressive emission reduction goals through cleaner energy,” said John Chillemi, Executive Vice President of Development for NRG Energy. “Aligning smart business decisions with smart environment choices is part of NRG’s larger effort to develop new and optimize existing resources to provide more sustainable and reliable electricity services to customers across California.”
NRG is also launching its NRG Lockheed Martin Energy Efficiency Program which will offer a number of energy solutions including commercial HVAC, industrial refrigeration, process cooling, compressors, and lighting to SCE commercial and industrial customers. NRG also launched a demand response program for commercial and industrial customers that will allow large electricity consumers to make money while also improving grid reliability.
“NRG has long been a part of empowering California through solar and wind as well as fast-start, flexible and efficient generation that enables additional renewable power to be added to the grid,” added Chillemi. “Bringing innovative options to the table such as the products offered under these Preferred Resources contracts are an exciting addition to our collaborative effort to help California achieve a more sustainable energy future.”