US utility improves residential energy efficiency with storage


Under the contract, Ice Energy will provide SCPPA utilities with some 100 ‘Ice Bear 20’ energy storage batteries for installation in residential locations to improve grid efficiency during peak demand periods.

The 100 battery energy storage units will add 1MW of new energy storage and peak reduction capacity to the SCPPA network which comprises 11 municipal utilities, one irrigation district and some two million consumers.

A company release states that the ice battery-based residential cooling systems combines patented ice battery storage and smart grid technology with integrated cooling, completely replacing conventional home AC units. The system cools a home 24/7 to the temperature set by the homeowner, while also enabling utilities to eliminate load for up to four hours by dispatching the stored ice.

“The SCPPA programme is an excellent vehicle for demonstrating the grid value of using Ice Bear ice batteries to control residential AC load while keeping customers as cool as they desire,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy.

“It’s a win for member utilities, who will be able to mitigate residential peak demand in a reliable and cost-effective manner — something that’s proven hard to do, and it’s a win for homeowners who’ll benefit from a clean and highly efficient cooling system.”

The project falls under SCPPA’s energy efficiency programme and is set to begin in June through to the end of 2016 to help utility members of the authority to reduce their carbon emissions.

The energy storage batteries will replace resident’s outdoor cooling systems.

Energy storage batteries

Meanwhile, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Tesla announced the completion of their energy storage project in Ontario, California.

The completed 20MW energy storage project will help SCE to reduce peak demand on its grid network. The energy storage plant will store electricity enough to power 15,000 homes.

The energy storage system will be used to store energy during periods when demand is low and provide it into the grid for over 4 hours during peak periods.

SCE plans to use the energy storage system to maintain its customer services by providing its consumers with energy from the system during times when its grid fails or in the event of power outages. [Sweden introduces energy storage subsidy for households].

The development of the new energy storage system falls under plans by SCE to eliminate the use of fossil fuels as far as possible, following the closure of the utility’s Aliso Canyon gas-fired plant in 2015.