Ice Energy supplies energy storage tech for new project

Ice Energy will combine its storage technology with SunPower PV solar systems to demonstrate peak demand reduction abilities.

Ice Energy, a top supplier of smart-grid enabled, advanced energy storage solutions for the electric utility industry, will collaborate with SunPower Corp on a California Public Utilities Commission-funded project. The unique project will combine the Ice Energy Ice Bear' energy storage technology with the SunPower photovoltaic (PV) solar systems.

The project is part of the California Solar Initiative's Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration Program, which aims at demonstrating both economic and operational advantages to the integration of advanced energy storage systems with existing PV systems for reducing peak demand of commercial buildings. Ice Energy was selected among three other energy storage companies for the program, which will be executed by SunPower together with PG&E, KEMA, Sandia National Laboratories and a major national retailer.

"Think of it as sun + ice + wind," said Greg Tropsa, executive vice president and co-founder of Ice Energy. "All three of these technologies have the potential to be more valuable together than any single one of them alone, and that's what this project sets out to demonstrate."

"As the sun begins to set in the afternoon, the Ice Bear units will deliver stored energy to bridge the gap between increasing building electrical demand and decreasing solar energy production," Tropsa explained.

"The project will demonstrate that the combination of solar and ice storage will significantly reduce a building's peak demand charge, saving money for the consumer and helping the environment by reducing the need for utilities to dispatch fossil fuel-fired peaking generators. The bonus is the Ice Bear storage units are recharged during the off-peak hours, absorbing wind and surplus low cost base load generation."

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