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updated: 12/14/2012 10:20 AM

Naperville parnters with Verde Energy on energy storage solutions

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The city of Naperville is partnering with Verde Energy USA on a clean energy efficiency demonstration project.

The project involves the installation of a clean energy storage system at Naperville's Water Service Center, 1200 W. Ogden Ave. It is expected to achieve energy efficiencies and reduce costs to the city of Naperville. The project will begin this month and continue throughout 2013, during which time Verde and Naperville will collect data and share results.

As part of the partnership, Verde will invest the funds necessary to purchase and install Ice Energy's "Ice Bear" technology, an intelligent smart grid-enabled distributed energy storage system, at the Water Service Center at no cost to the city. Through a partnership agreement with Ice Energy, Verde holds the right to distribute Ice Bear technology, which has been tested and proven by more than 50 investor and publicly owned utilities throughout North America.

The Ice Bear replaces conventional condensing units, a component of a typical building cooling system. Ice Bear shifts air conditioning electrical power demand to off-peak hours by using water to make ice at night, when the electric grid is generally unstressed. Then, during a hot summer day when demand goes up and electric prices may be higher, the melting ice provides the cooling that otherwise would have to come from the air conditioner's compressor. 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 electric grid reliability.

The city was determined to be a perfect location for the technology thanks to the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative, an upgrade of the city's $360 million electric network to provide more efficient, cost-effective and reliable service to Naperville's utility customers and empower them with more information on their energy usage.

"This technology provides a perfect opportunity to achieve needed upgrades at our Water Service Center in a more energy efficient way," Mayor A. George Pradel said. "We are happy to serve as a model for other communities interested in sustainable clean energy solutions. The project also provides a great opportunity to realize one of the benefits of our smart grid initiative."

Thomas FitzGerald, Chief Executive Officer of Verde, said "building on Naperville's demonstrated commitment to using smart grid technologies, we are confident that this partnership will further benefit both the City and the environment, reducing high-cost peak electricity demand to improve energy system efficiency and grid reliability.

"It's a proven distributed energy storage technology, which our strategic partner, Ice Energy, has successfully deployed in hundreds of buildings across the country," FitzGerald added. "We have an excellent track record in Illinois as a retail energy supplier, and this partnership with Naperville reflects our commitment to extend our energy solutions business throughout Illinois, with additional partnership agreements on state, regional and municipal levels."

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