Genbright and Ice Energy Partner To Reduce Peak Electricity Demand On Nantucket

16 Jun 2017

Genbright LLC, a New England-based company specializing in the development and operation of new clean energy technologies, and Ice Energy, a leading provider of distributed thermal energy storage for utilities, have partnered to help reduce Nantucket's peak energy demand using Ice Energy's innovative energy storage solution.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) awarded Genbright and Ice Energy a contract to provide over 200 residential behind-the-meter energy storage solutions on Nantucket using Ice Energy's proprietary Ice Bear 20 technology. Genbright will perform real-time dispatch of the Ice Bears to deliver over 1 MW of peak demand reduction, which is equivalent to one year of growth in electricity demand on the island.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to show how Genbright can provide value to ratepayers by deploying and operating new innovative technologies. The Ice Bear 20 is an ideal solution for mitigating Nantucket's growing peak demand, and saving ratepayers money," said Joe Crespo, Founder and Partner of Genbright. "By adding the Ice Bear to our portfolio of dispatchable clean energy technologies, Genbright is expanding its capability to help New England manage the increasingly complex needs of our electricity grid."

Over 200 Ice Bear units will be installed on Nantucket, beginning in summer 2017. The goal of the project is to prove how new energy storage technologies can be deployed as "non-wires alternatives" to defer the need for a third undersea cable to Nantucket, which is expected to cost between $75-100 million. The total value of this project is approximately $3 million. 

Replacing standard residential AC units, the Ice Bear provides a unique solution to the problem of peak electricity demand. An Ice Bear freezes water into ice at night when demand for power is low and electricity is abundant. During the day, the ice is used to provide air conditioning instead of energy-intensive AC compressors. Ice Bear systems also reduce CO2 emissions.

"Partnering with Genbright on projects in New England, such as the Nantucket non-wires alternative, is a perfect example of how Ice Energy can contribute to clean, affordable and reliable energy, a common goal shared with other New England communities," said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy.

"We are proud and excited for Nantucket to be chosen to serve as a demonstration location for this innovative energy storage project, and to be a model for other areas experiencing peak load issues," said Lauren Sinatra, Energy Project and Outreach Coordinator for Nantucket. "Local participants will enjoy increased comfort as well as savings on their energy bills. They will also be doing their part for the greater good of the island by helping to defer the need for traditional contingency support, such as back-up diesel generation and a costly third undersea cable."

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