The Plenty 20

By Danielle Wood

Illustration by Matthew Bandsuch

Last July, the company put in a bid to help develop what will be the world’s biggest geothermal project ever—a $600 million mega-plant in northern Sumatra set to generate another 340 megawatts. Ormat’s still investigating other opportunities, too. It has put significant research toward creating a market to capture waste heat from manufacturing processes, and last fall, the company announced a $63.5 million investment into biodiesel.

16: Ice Energy
Windsor, Colorado
Year after year, air conditioning is the top contributor to peak electricity problems: Last summer alone, heat waves across the nation left many cities with blackouts, and high electricity demand forced the dirtiest of generators to kick in. But this company says that a better solution lies in something laughably low-tech: ice.
Ice Energy’s Ice Bear cooling unit plugs into an off-the-shelf air conditioner. At night, when electricity is cheapest and most abundant, it makes ice. But during the day, when demand for air conditioning soars, the Ice Bear uses the ice—instead of electricity—to cool down the coolant in the air conditioner, reducing electricity consumption for air conditioning by up to 30 percent. Right now, the company sells the Ice Bear only for commercial buildings, but a residential version is being tested now. And many utilities are already offering huge incentives for companies to buy them. Now that’s cool.

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Issue 25

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