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Distribution of ice thermal energy storage facilities in the U.S U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Storage Database

Ice Thermal Storage Snapshots

The utilization of ice thermal energy storage is a growing trend.

The current energy storage market involves a healthy mix of different technologies that suit different requirements and vary considerably by facility size and capabilities. For example, a couple dozen of the largest pumped hydro facilities in the U.S. store a lot more electric energy than the hundreds of utility-scale battery energy storage facilities currently in place.

In contrast to centrally located utility-scale storage, ice thermal energy storage units are typically installed at commercial or industrial facilities and provide an efficient way to use off-peak power to store energy and deploy it during peak times of day. Companies such as Ice Energy, Inc. in Santa Barbara, California, and CALMAC in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, have provided solutions in this area for decades, including air-conditioning-based systems that use energy stored as ice during off-peak hours, to enable air-conditioners to cool buildings without having to use as much on-peak electric power.

Analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Storage Database shows the following distribution of ice thermal energy storage facilities in the U.S. in the map below.

Department of Energy, Energy Storage Database

Distribution of ice thermal energy storage facilities in the U.S.

The table below summarizes the 114 individual utilities and other companies by capacity.

  Analysis of DOE Energy Storage Database Projects Involving U.S. Installations Using Ice Thermal Storage
Utility or Customer, ranked by installation size (kW)   Sum of rated power in kW 
Southern California Edison, Sarasota County, Riverside Public Utilities, Ingersoll Rand, Redding Electric Utility, Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power, Florida Power & Light, JC Penney, Tucson Electric Power, Con Edison, Delta College, and a nine-utility consortium in California   Above
2000 kW
Nissan, El Paso Electric Co., Underwriters Laboratories, Hawaiian Electric Co., Redding Electric Utility, PG&E, Penta Joint Vocational School District, Duquesne Light and Power, SDG&E, Confidential, Burbank Water & Power, and West Penn Power  300 kW
to 1999 kW
Azusa Light & Water, Central Maine Power, O-I World Headquarters, Customer owned, Centex Corp., Anaheim Public Utility, City of Fort Collins, and Fort Collins Light & Power.  175 kW
to 300 kW
Gainesville Regional Utilities, Penn Power, Moreno Valley Utility, SDG&E, Green Mountain Power, Jersey Central Power and Light Co., Nevada Power Co., Xcel Energy, Austin Energy, and Evanston Municipal Utility.  10 kW
to 174 kW
 Total of all 114 installations  107,819 kW

An additional and significant development involves a different application for ice thermal energy storage, which reduces peak refrigeration demands. A Whole Foods in Los Altos, California, is making the move to ice thermal energy storage for refrigeration, and in a project with Axiom Exergy, has demonstrated this solution by charging and discharging 1040 kWh of load at the facility for up to 10 hours a day over the course of several months. Axiom Exergy has recently secured a similar project at a Walmart store in Escondido, California, as well as a $5 million deal with Con Edison in New York. ♦


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