The Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) has entered into an agreement with Ice Energy to purchase up to 53MW of peak load shifting (PLS)capacity with the installation of Ice Bear Thermal Energy Storage (TES) equipment on behalf of SCPPA's 12 publicly owned utility members as well as other municipal utilities (participants) in the region.
This could be the largest deployment of Ice Bears and provides participants an ability to achieve Utility-scale peak demand reduction and shifting of air conditioner load, while also providing valued efficiency improvements for individual commercial and industrial (C/I) customers - without sacrificing customer comfort. To date, 7 members and 2 other POUs have installed approximately 2.5MW of TES capacity in more than 200 customer's facilities.
These installations have provided participants new opportunities to work with C/I customers in partnership to help them cost-effectively reduce peak demand and shift energy usage to the off-peak period. In addition, the SCPPA agreement with Ice Energy requires that local engineers and HVAC contractors be used for the design and installation processes and that supplies and materials be acquired locally, to the greatest extent possible to provide local and regional economic development opportunities in the communities served by the participants.
In essence, participants are purchasing and installing the Ice Bears and related equipment with little or no monetary contribution from the customers. This business model is considered to be optimal, particularly for initial deployment, because utilities are the recipients of the most value or benefits from the PLS technology. That is, while customers may see reduced on-peak usage, unless they are on TOU rates, there may not be much (if any) reduction in their bill and energy savings from the TES. However there are significant operational, economic, and environmental benefits inherent with peak load shifting that are achieved by electric utilities who implement energy storage programs including, but not limited to: avoidance on-peak generation, operation and/or construction; improved load factor and "flattening" of load curves; reducing minimum load conditions and assimilation of intermittent renewable resources that also might be delivered off-peak; and reducing or removing constraints on overloaded distribution circuits or feeders to help defer or avoid capital intensive system improvements.