Electricity retailer Verde Energy USA and the city of St. Charles, Illinois launched a clean energy efficiency partnership and demonstration project. Verde Energy USA will undertake the partnership through its affiliate, Verde Energy Solutions, a clean energy solutions provider.
The project, which involves the installation of a clean energy storage system in a municipal building, will achieve energy efficiencies, reduce costs and enhance grid reliability related to air conditioning. The project will begin this month and continue throughout 2013, while Verde and the city of St. Charles collect data and share results.
Through a partnership agreement with Ice Energy, Verde holds the right to distribute Ice Bear technology, which has been tested and proven by over 50 investor and publicly-owned utilities throughout North America.
The Ice Bear replaces conventional condensing units, a component of a typical building cooling system. It shifts air conditioning electrical power demand to off-peak hours by using plain water to make ice at night, when the electric grid is generally unstressed.
Then, during the hot summer day, when demand goes up and electric prices may be higher, the melting ice bathes the air conditioner's compressor with cool air so the air conditioning unit uses less energy at a peak demand time to cool the building. The melted water is then recycled through the system when the process begins again the following night.
The result is lower energy costs and increased grid reliability. In St. Charles, the Ice Bear technology will be installed at the municipal water treatment laboratory building, located at the city's public works complex, replacing an aging, inefficient air conditioning unit.