California Energy Commission & Sacramento Municipal Utility District Provide Funding Towards the Installation of a 20kW x 9hr VRB-ESS(TM) at a Telecoms Site in California



    RICHMOND, BC, March 6 /CNW/ - VRB Power Systems Inc. (TSX-V: VRB)
announces that the California Energy Commission ("CEC") and the Sacramento
Municipal Utility District ("SMUD") awarded funding towards the purchase of a
20kW x 9hr VRB Energy Storage System (VRB-ESS(TM)) to be installed at a major
U.S. telecoms service provider's telecommunication site in Sacramento,
California. The system will provide 3 hours of back-up power and additionally
power the site for 6 hours during peak power times, shifting demand on the
site from peak to off peak times. The total contract value to VRB Power from
this project will be approximately US$300,000 which will be borne equally by
the CEC, SMUD and the customer.
    The ability to provide both of these functions from the same system is a
unique characteristic of VRB Power's flow battery technology. Shifting demand
from this site to off peak times will reduce peak demand on the local grid and
potentially reduce the customer's electricity charges by switching to Time of
Use versus standard rate charges.
    This project has attracted support and funding from CEC because of the
potential to roll out similar systems in many other sites in California with
the intention to shift a significant portion of the State's peak demand to off
peak times which is directly in line with California's Energy Policy goals.
    "This project demonstrates the economic value of energy storage and the
Energy Commission is pleased to be funding this endeavour," said Energy
Commissioner Art Rosenfeld. "Additionally, with the technology to shift
electrical load from peak to off peak, it has the potential to reduce demand
on California's electrical transmission grid at times when we most need it,"
added Rosenfeld.
    "Shifting peak demand to off peak times is fully in line with our
corporate goals and is in the best interests of generators and consumers
alike," said Cliff Murley of SMUD. "We believe that there is significant
potential to roll out energy storage in a number of key sites across our grid
and beyond."
    "We are very pleased with this development," said John Davis, Director of
Sales for VRB Power. "This sale follows evaluation of our technology by this
customer and the ability of our products to fulfill other roles in addition to
providing reliable, long-life back-up power. The VRB-ESS offers customers a
much more versatile product which can also generate revenues for them and
separates us from our competitors."
    "In on grid sites, such as this one in Sacramento, electricity is
substantially more expensive at peak times than at off peak times. We can
significantly reduce the customer's electricity charges by using the VRB-ESS
to run the site during peak demand and then re-charging it at off peak times.
In off grid sites we can significantly reduce diesel consumption by using the
system to run the site for several hours each day. In both examples the
VRB-ESS also serves to provide reliable, uninterruptible power should the main
source of power fail."
    "These applications open up a large number of sites within the overall
telecoms market where we believe only VRB Power can provide this solution. The
customer has dozens of similar sites across California where our systems could
potentially be deployed and hundreds of similar sites across North America.
Additionally, other major telecoms service providers are in a similar
position. The ability to shave peak demand also provides benefits to the local
utilities, local electricity grids and ultimately consumers. We thank the CEC,
SMUD and the customer for their support in this project which we believe will
open up many opportunities for our products," concluded Davis.

    About SMUD

    SMUD has been providing Sacramento County (and a small part of
Placer County) with a reliable source of electricity at competitive rates for
over 60 years. As the sixth largest publicly owned utility in the country in
terms of customers served, SMUD's innovative energy programs are known
throughout the state, nation and world. SMUD's purpose is to provide solutions
for meeting customers' electrical energy needs. SMUD's vision is to be a
leader in customer satisfaction and a positive force in promoting community
benefits.

    About the CEC

    California is the world's fifth largest consumer of energy. Today,
California is a world leader in electricity created by renewable energy
resources and has been at the forefront in energy efficiency. The renewable
energy industry can be credited with providing 30,000 jobs and generating
$2 billion in tax revenues for the state. Directing how such a nation-state
uses its energy has been the purpose of the California Energy Commission for
more than a quarter of a century.
    Because of the state's stringent energy efficiency standards, California
is the most energy efficient state in the nation. For the past 30 years, per
capita electricity consumption in California has remained flat despite an
increasing state population. California's building and appliances efficiency
standards have saved more than $56 billion in electricity and natural gas
costs and avoided the need to build 15 large power plants saving money and
reducing the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

    About VRB Power

    Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, VRB Power Systems Inc. is an energy
storage technology developer which is marketing, selling and manufacturing
products utilizing the patented VRB Energy Storage System ("VRB-ESS(TM)"). The
VRB-ESS can economically store and supply large amounts of electricity on
demand and is focused on stationary applications. It is a long life, cost
effective, low maintenance, efficient technology that allows for the
scalability of power and storage capacity independently. The VRB-ESS is
particularly beneficial to renewable energy providers, utilities and end users
through its ability to "inventory" electricity, allowing for the optimal match
of supply and demand.
    The VRB-ESS is well suited for a variety of applications. Enabling the
provision of "firm" capacity from intermittent renewable generation such as
wind and solar; more cost effective and efficient generation of electricity in
remote areas; capital deferral for utilities; and load levelling (peak
shaving) applications. The VRB-ESS is also capable of providing backup power
solutions including applications for utility sub-stations and
telecommunication sites. The VRB-ESS is characterized by having the lowest
ecological impact of all energy storage technologies and is unlike most other
conventional energy storage systems that rely on substances such as lead or
cadmium.

    Caution regarding forward-looking statements: VRB Power's press releases
may contain forward-looking statements. These statements are based on
management's current expectations and beliefs which are subject to a number of
known and unknown risks and uncertainties (including, but not limited to, the
risk factors described in VRB Power's Annual Information Form filed with the
British Columbia Securities Commission and available at www.sedar.com) that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or
implied in our forward-looking statements. The Company does not assume any
obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press
release.

    The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
    or accuracy of this release.

    Vince Sorace
    President





For further information:

For further information: VRB Power Systems Inc. at (604) 247-3300;
Investor Relations at (604) 247-5001; Or visit the company's web site at:
www.vrbpower.com

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