In California, Ice Energy is opening a 22,000 sq. ft. research and development center for its Riverside Public Utilities and Southern California Edison projects to provide thermal energy storage technology in the form of ice and develop new innovative storage solutions for a smarter electric grid. The company recently was awarded a five-year contract from Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) to provide 5 megawatts of behind-the-meter thermal energy storage using Ice Energy’s proprietary Ice Bear system. The new facility will serve as a staging area for the Riverside Ice Bear program and support Ice Energys 25.6 megawatt Southern California Edison (SCE) project. Almost 1,000 Ice Bear units are already installed in more than 40 different utility service territories nationwide, approaching 29 million hours of reliable operation.
Ice Energy’s flagship commercial product, Ice Bear, attaches to one or more standard 5-20 ton rooftop commercial AC units and freezes ice at night when demand for power is low and capacity is abundant. The stored ice is used during the day to provide cooling instead of power-intensive AC compressors, effectively solving the problem of peak load management.
“When selecting a location for our R&D facility we considered a number of California locations. The City of Riverside proved to be the clear winner,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy. Explained Chris Tillotson, CIO and head of R&D for Ice Energy, ”The City’s commitment to high technology business development in the form of grants and incentives, the University of California, Riverside and the growing number of high tech and HVAC businesses in the area all contributed significantly to our decision.” Ice Energy will be hiring a team of 12 to staff the center, which will serve as its primary research and development location and also its application engineering facility.