Press Releases
New Social Security Administration Building in Redding to Feature Area’s Largest Energy Storage Installation

Project is part of Redding Electric Utility’s effort to reduce peak electrical demand through its innovative Ice Bear program.

REDDING, CA – September 7, 2010 – When local employees of the Social Security Administration move into their new offices in the Park Marina Building near the Sacramento River later this month, they may just find themselves in the coolest building in town.

That’s because the building, developed by the Imperial Group and designed by Nichols Melburg & Rossetto, will feature the largest installation in the area of Ice Energy’s Ice Bear energy storage technology, alongside more traditional green building features such as a white roof, and foot-thick, insulated concrete walls.

The pilot project is part of an innovative program from Redding Electric Utility (REU) to slow the growth of peak electrical demand and reduce exposure to costly peak power by installing ice-based energy storage systems on commercial buildings throughout its territory, to fundamentally change how – and more importantly when – energy is consumed for air conditioning.

Redding’s summer weather is dominated by hot, dry sunny days, driving the demand for REU’s electricity to provide air-conditioned comfort. Evening temperatures drop by as much as 40 degrees; as temperatures fall so does the demand for and cost of “off peak” power. The Ice Bear solution enables REU to leverage the abundance of less expensive off-peak power and defer the need to build additional/new peak power generation in the future, while still allowing customers to enjoy uninterrupted air-conditioned comfort.

"Redding Electric Utility is committed to delivering reliable, affordable electric service to our customers in the most sustainable, and environmentally-sensitive manner. The Ice Bear solution is a viable, cost-effective alternative to conventional peaking power plants for meeting peak demand and aligns well with our vision,” said Redding Electric Utility Director Paul Hauser. “It’s exciting to see the progress of this project and Ice Bear technology’s benefits throughout our community. We see the long-term value and potential for expansion of REU’s Ice Bear program as significant."

The 11 rooftop Ice Bear energy storage units are expected to be lifted into place on the 21,000 sq-foot, modern Craftsman-style Park Marina Building on Tuesday by Redding-based HVAC contractor Timberline Heating and Air. Each Ice Bear unit will be paired with a matching 5-ton Trane packaged rooftop air conditioner, creating a unique, highly efficient hybrid storage and cooling system. The 11 high-efficiency Trane units are the first to be shipped “Ice-Ready” from Trane’s factory for seamless integration and optimal performance with the Ice Bear system.

The Ice Bear system stores energy at night, when electricity generation is cleaner, more efficient and less expensive. It works seamlessly with the building’s air conditioning system to deliver that stored energy the following day, significantly reducing the amount of on peak electricity required to cool the building.

For businesses and building owners who install the Ice Bear systems, this translates into reduced peak demand for energy that REU must serve, a smaller environmental footprint, extended life of their HVAC equipment, and improved cooling comfort for their customers and employees.

"The Ice Bear program with Redding Electric Utility has been a win for everyone all around. Consumers enjoy air conditioned comfort, REU meets its goals to reduce peak demand, and the energy storage devices play an important role in reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions," said Greg Tropsa, co-founder and Executive Vice President of Ice Energy. “It’s a great example of how to stimulate the local economy, create jobs, and reduce the impact of energy on our environment.”

In addition to the Social Security Administration offices in the new Palm Marina building, Ice Bear systems have already been installed on a wide range of civic, commercial, and retail businesses and buildings throughout the Redding area.