NRG Energy and Ice Energy, a major provider of distributed thermal energy storage for utilities, have teamed up to help reduce California’s peak energy demand through an innovative energy storage solution.
NRG and Ice Energy will meet the recently awarded 20 year long-term contracts to provide 25.6 megawatts of behind-the-meter energy storage using Ice Energy’s proprietary Ice Bear technology for Southern California Edison (SCE). NRG and Ice Energy will deliver the peak energy reductions associated with these contracts. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“As one of California’s largest providers of renewable and traditional energy generation as well as electric vehicle fast charging solutions, energy storage is a natural next step for NRG to help meet the state’s energy needs,” said John Chillemi, President of NRG Energy’s West Region. “We look forward to combining our experience in delivering customer-driven clean energy solutions with Ice Energy and their innovative technology to provide clean and reliable distributed energy storage products to this bellwether state.”
Subject to final approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, approximately 1,800 Ice Bear units will be installed in Orange County beginning in early 2016. Attaching to one or more standard 5-20 ton rooftop commercial AC units, the Ice Bear provides a unique solution to the problem of peak load management, a key part of creating power grids which are more efficient, reliable, and effectively integrate renewables. The Ice Bears freeze ice at night when demand for power is low and capacity is abundant, and then use stored ice during the day to provide cooling instead of power-intensive AC compressors. Each Ice Bear can reduce harmful CO2 emissions by up to four tons per year.
“Aligning with NRG makes perfect sense as both companies share a common goal of helping California utilities and their customers, as well as businesses build a sustainable future with clean, affordable and reliable energy,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy. “Energy storage, particularly the distributed and efficient storage capacity provided by our Ice Bears, reduces reliance on fossil fuels and helps better integrate renewable energy sources into a smarter electric grid.”
Including the 178 MW of demand response and energy efficiency products awarded to NRG in SCE’s recent RFO, this arrangement will bring NRG’s total commitment to California’s growing Preferred Resources market to over 200 MW. Almost 1,000 Ice Bear units are already installed in more than 40 different utility service territories nationwide, surpassing 27 million hours of reliable operation.