Energy-Storage Gets Big Win in California

December 23, 2014 By Karen Henry

ice melting energy manageWhen Southern California Edison requested proposals to meet its need for 2,221 MW of capacity in California, it did not expect energy storage systems to win the bid. But proposals for energy storage systems beat out hundreds of bids to construct new power plants, The New York Times reports.

The utility selected 264 MW of storage, about four times the total amount of storage the company has in place or under construction.

Although neither the storage company nor the utility would reveal the price, experts say this is an indication that storage prices are coming down.

Ice Energy won a large portion of the bid—25.6 MW. The company installs rooftop thermal energy storage units, called Ice Bears, which freeze water in 450-gallon pots. The ice is made at night, when temperatures are lower, and is then used during the day for space cooling during peak demand hours.

In 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted the United States’ first energy storage mandate, requiring the state’s three major power companies to have 1.3 GW of storage capacity in place by the end of 2020, with installations required no later than the end of 2014.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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