The going theory is that a successful smart grid requires effective energy storage, and the Windsor, Colo.-based cleantech startup's capital infusion gives it the room to deploy utility-scale distributed energy storage projects in the U.S. and Canada, including its existing 53-megawatt project with the Southern California Public Power Authority.
Of the $24 million, $4.5 million came from TIAA-CREF. Other investors included Energy Capital Partners, Good Energies, Sail Ventures and Second Avenue Partners.
With the ability to keep electricity on tap, utility companies hope to avoid having to build new power plants to accommodate for the few summer days when demand is at a peak, only to idle the rest of the year.
Moreover, it allows them to use less expensive off-peak power to produce that energy in the first place.
Ice Energy claims its energy storage "has the potential to permanently shift as much as 40 percent" of peak energy demand to off-peak hours.