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UIL : Ice Energy Installs 2 Ice Bears for Connecticut's United Illuminating Company

03/22/2014 | 09:39pm US/Eastern

Ice Energy, a provider of distributed thermal energy storage and smart grid solutions, announced it has installed two Ice Bears for Connecticut'sUnited Illuminating Company (UI) as a pilot project through the Energize Connecticut initiative to demonstrate the potential of the Ice Bear to reduce peak electric demand.

In a release, the Company said the Ice Bears were installed at two commercial businesses located in Orange, Conn. Each Ice Bear unit was configured to provide both thermal energy storage and demand response. As a result, at each site, some of the air conditioning load is permanently shifted from peak to off peak using the thermal energy storage and some of it is subject to curtailment in an emergency using the demand response. The pilot will go through this coming summer air conditioning season.

Mike Hopkins, Ice Energy's EVP of corporate development and legal, 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. Ice Bears have had great success thus far in providing a solution to meet these utility and customer needs."

The monitoring and evaluation of the performance of these units is being done in partnership with the University of New Haven'sTagliatela College of Engineering. Ravi Gorthala, a professor of mechanical engineering, and Amy Thompson, a professor of system and industrial engineering, will be providing critical data to determine the impact on the grid and these businesses.

"This pilot study and its results will provide good indicators of the capability of the Ice Bear technology and units to shift and reduce peak electric energy demand and to lower total costs for the business owner," says Thompson. "It is great to see state utility companies, like UI, proactive in testing, piloting, evaluating, and implementing new technologies that may be able to lower energy costs significantly for commercial and industrial customers."

The units were purchased by UI with funds as part of the Energize Connecticut initiative but will be owned by the end customer. This deployment is one of three pilots underway in New England.

Energize Connecticut helps save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the State, and local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills.

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