Sarasota County School District Adopts Ice-Based Energy Storage

CALMAC® today announces the use of its ice-based energy storage tanks at Sarasota County School District’s Oak Park School, located in South Florida. For over 20 years, the Sarasota County School District has used CALMAC’s ice storage technology and in 2013, achieved over $2 million in energy cost savings. The installation of CALMAC’s IceBank energy storage tanks at Oak Park School went live at the beginning of the 2014 school year and now the district is able to store a total of 20 MW of energy among 36 schools.

"With the newest energy storage installation at Oak Park School, the Sarasota County School District is now able to store and shift enough energy to meet the cooling needs for approximately four skyscrapers," said Mark MacCracken, CEO of CALMAC.

Oak Park School is dedicated to meeting the special needs of students from pre-kindergarten to age 22. With the CALMAC system in place, the school is able to store energy in the form of ice at night when utility prices are low and cooling can be generated and stored more efficiently. The ice is then used the next day, when temperatures and energy costs are at their highest, to cool students and staff.

CALMAC's IceBank tanks are 99 percent reusable or recyclable and require minimal maintenance. Sarasota’s Brookside Middle School was the first facility within the district to implement thermal energy storage in the early 1990s. However, in the early 2000s the structure was torn down and replaced with a brand new building. Instead of purchasing new tanks, CALMAC refurbished the previous school’s tanks for insertion into the design of the new facility.

“Any time we remodel a school we are able to save our tanks and reuse them,” said Cecil Peel, Sarasota schools manager of technical services. “We really believe in CALMAC's IceBank product and energy storage solution, which is why over 80 percent of the district utilizes thermal energy storage. Thermal storage has helped us save 25 percent of our electrical costs.”