- NRG Energy and Ice Energy will partner to fulfill contracts with Southern California Edison (SCE) for 25.6 MW of behind-the-meter energy storage, Energy Efficiency Markets reports.
- In a first step toward meeting its AB 2514-mandated 580 MW of energy storage by 2020, SCE will offset peak demand with the 1,800 Ice Bear units to be installed in its service territory beginning early in 2016, pending approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
- Ice Bears attach to 5-20 ton rooftop commercial air conditioning units and use low cost, off-peak power at night to freeze water. During the daytime peak demand period when power prices are high, they allow building occupants to avoid the use of power-intensive AC compressors by using the stored ice for cooling.
AB 2514 mandates California’s three dominant investor-owned utilities provide 1,325 MW of energy storage by 2020. Pacific Gas and Electric is required to match SCE’s 580 MW and San Diego Gas and Electric is required to have 165 MW.
SCE surprised and excited energy storage advocates in late 2014 by acquiring 261 MW of energy storage. The buy was part of SCE's Local Capacity Requirements (LCR) procurement of 1,892 MW to replace generation from the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and from planned closures of once-through-cooling natural gas plants required by water conservation measures.
Daytime AC electricity consumption is typically 40% to 50% of building power use during peak daytime hours, according to Ice Energy. The Ice Bear can cut that by 12 kW per hour for at least 6 hours per day. That shifts 72 kWh of peak demand to the off-peak electricity rate and lowers the peak demand period usage that determines most commercial customers’ costly demand charge. The Ice Bear can also be configured to provide demand response.