US provider of thermal energy storage and smart grid solutions Ice Energy is working with a Northeast power supplier to test how storage can be used to cut peak demand.

The Ice Bear units, a distributed energy storage system, were installed at two commercial businesses as part of Connecticut’s United Illuminating Company (UI) pilot project to explore the potential of thermal energy storage and demand response to shift and reduce energy demand at peak times.

During the trial, some of the companies air conditioning loads were permanently shifted from peak to off peak using thermal energy storage. The pilot will continue through the US summer.

Data on the units’ impact on the grid and businesses will be supplied by professors at the University of New Haven’s Tagliatela College of Engineering.

The units were purchased by UI with funds as part of Energize Connecticut, an industry and government initiative, but will be owned by the end customer.

The deployment is one of three pilots underway in the state of New England.

Mike Hopkins, executive vice president of corporate development and legal of Ice Energy, said: “It’s not just the state of California that is making headway in energy storage.

“We have seen a marked increase in demand for energy efficiency technologies in the Northeast.

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