City of St. Charles and Verde Energy USA Announce Pioneering Energy Storage Solutions Partnership -- Illinois Municipality to Reap Cost-Savings and Energy Efficiencies --

-- First Announcement of Verde Energy USA's "Energy Storage Solutions Project" in Illinois --

ST. CHARLES, Ill. and NORWALK, Conn., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Verde Energy USA, a leading retailer of electricity, and the City of St. Charles, Illinois today jointly announced the launch of a clean energy efficiency partnership and demonstration project.  Verde Energy USA will undertake the partnership through its affiliate, Verde Energy Solutions ("Verde"), a clean energy solutions provider.  The project, which involves the installation of a proven, clean energy storage system in a municipal building, will achieve energy efficiencies, reduce costs, and enhance grid reliability related to air conditioning.  The project will begin this month and continue throughout 2013, while Verde and the City of St. Charles 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.  Through a partnership agreement with Ice Energy, Verde holds the right to distribute Ice Bear technology, which has been tested and proven by over 50 investor and publicly-owned utilities throughout North America.

The Ice Bear replaces conventional condensing units, a component of a typical building cooling system. It shifts air conditioning electrical power demand to off-peak hours by using plain water to make ice at night, when the electric grid is generally unstressed. Then, during the hot summer day, when demand goes up and electric prices may be higher, the melting ice bathes the air conditioner's compressor with cool air so the air conditioning unit uses less energy at a peak demand time to cool the building. 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 grid reliability.  In St. Charles, the Ice Bear technology will be installed at the municipal water treatment laboratory building, located at the City's Public Works complex, replacing an aging, inefficient air conditioning unit.

St. Charles Mayor Donald P. DeWitte said, "We are very pleased to be among the first municipalities in Illinois to enter into a partnership to install this clean, efficient energy solution.  The equipment and turnkey installation costs will be covered by an investment made directly by Verde, and we expect to showcase how this technology achieves savings through more efficient air conditioning operations going forward.  We look forward to working with Verde to evaluate the performance of this technology in the coming year.  St. Charles prides itself on being a progressive community focused on sustainability, and we are pleased to partner with Verde to utilize a clean technology that will provide savings to taxpayers."

Thomas FitzGerald, Chief Executive Officer of Verde, said, "We are confident that this partnership with St. Charles will 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. We have an excellent track record in Illinois as a retail energy supplier, and this partnership with St. Charles reflects our commitment to extend our energy solutions business throughout Illinois, with additional partnership agreements on state, regional and municipal levels."

"The Illinois Municipal Electric Agency is interested in monitoring the progress of this demonstration project," said Kevin Gaden the President and CEO of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, which is a joint action agency comprised of 32 electric municipal electric utility departments and one electric co-op, which provides wholesale electric power to its members, including St. Charles. "Any action that the City of St. Charles takes that results in reducing peak demand and demonstrates innovative energy efficiency measures will not only allow our customers to test the state of the art, but also help to transfer that opportunity to all utility customers in St. Charles," said Gaden.

About the City of St. Charles

Friendly neighborhoods, diverse retailers, international employers, innovative schools, beautiful parks, varied cultural amenities, and unique architecture have earned St. Charles its reputation as the Pride of the Fox. Located in both DuPage and Kane counties, the City of St. Charles is 35 miles west of downtown Chicago, and has a population of approximately 33,000. Over 2,100 businesses, consisting of a balanced mix of retailers, restaurants and manufacturing facilities, employ more than 18,000 people. The City of St. Charles was named the #1 City for Families by Family Circle® magazine in 2011; one of the "150 Great Places in Illinois," by the AIA Illinois; and one of the "Top 10 Towns To Live In" by West Suburban Living magazine. www.stcharlesil.gov

About Verde Energy Solutions

Verde Energy USA is a rapidly growing Retail Energy Supplier focused on the residential and small to mid-size commercial power markets.  Through Verde Energy Solutions, its wholly-owned subsidiary, Verde aims to broaden and accelerate the adoption of state-of-the-art clean energy technologies. Headquartered in Norwalk Connecticut, Verde Energy USA has grown substantially since its market launch in November 2009.  Currently servicing markets in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Ohio, Verde is strategically positioned for continued growth in new markets including New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland. For more information, visit www.verdeenergyusa.com.

About Ice Energy

Ice Energy delivers distributed energy storage and smart grid solutions that improve utility system efficiency and reliability. Strategically aligned with Verde, the company's smart grid platform integrates distributed energy storage technology with an advanced software infrastructure and intelligent two-way control to provide utilities with a powerful, cost-effective solution that fundamentally changes peak load management, and improves integration of intermittent, renewable resources onto the grid.

By leveraging the higher efficiencies associated with generating and transmitting power off-peak, storing it at thousands of distributed locations, and dispatching it during times of peak demand, Ice Energy's distributed energy storage system represents a transformational new energy solution for the industry. Ice Energy, formerly based in Windsor, Colorado, recently relocated its headquarters to Glendale, California. For more information, visit www.ice-energy.com.

SOURCE Verde Energy USA



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