The company has completed the first phase of a massive project with utility SCE based on storing energy in ice for cooling, which it describes as the largest deployment of distributed thermal energy storage in the United States. In nearly all regions of the United States, peak annual electricity demand comes in the afternoon on the hottest days of the year, when air conditioners in homes and offices are cranked to the maximum. It’s one of the main technical challenges for utilities and grid operators, which must sign contracts with power plants to ensure that they have sufficient capacity on hand to meet only a few hours of demand, and it can be hard to predict just how much they will need. In Southern California, one company has come up with a solution to marry peak electric demand with cheap overnight electricity prices. And in a field where interconnected software and high-tech chemical batteries dominate, their solution is both simple and oddly tangible: making ice. Earlier this month Ice Energy completed the first phase of a project to deploy over 1,200 ice-making and cooling machines at businesses and industrial facilities across the territory of utility Southern Californ...