Energy storage has made headlines frequently as governments such as the state of California seek ways to help the environment. Converting and saving electricity as ice is one way to store it for future use.

The amount of electricity generated at any given time is a relatively fixed amount, but actual demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day. Integrating energy storage technology allows a distribution system to meet and accommodate the ups and downs of energy demand.

IceBank thermal energy storage tanks from Calmac Corp., Fair Lawn, N.J., store renewable energy such as wind and less expensive night-time electricity in the form of ice for use during peak-demand periods, which can cut cooling costs by 20 to 40 percent, according to the company. In the process, source energy and emissions are reduced and construction of new power plants and transmission lines can be delayed or eliminated.