Category: California News

Sacramento, California - The California Energy Commission approved its first $10 million to fund Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) research and development (R&D) projects during its monthly business meeting today. The Commission also approved grants for the operation of a hydrogen fueling station, biofuel production, geothermal exploration and rooftop solar for schools.

Below are details on the approved items:

Electric Program Investment Charge
EPIC is a multi-year, research investment program focused on electricity-related innovations, finding new energy solutions and bringing clean energy ideas to the marketplace. The program's 2012-2014 plan calls for investing $330 million between 2014 and 2015 in innovative technologies that provide benefits to electric ratepayers served by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. The seven awards approved will fund applied R&D projects that will develop utility-scale renewable energy generation technologies.

"R&D is the driving force of innovation," said California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. "It has been a long road developing the EPIC clean energy research program and I am delighted to see these first projects getting funded, which will enable California to meet the goals of its low-carbon energy future."

Two of the awardees, Halotechnics and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), also received funds from the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), the energy innovation branch of the U.S. Department of Energy. The state and federal awards are complementary and aim to push emerging technologies to the marketplace.

In the next year, the EPIC program will invest an additional $180 million in grants to fund projects designed to achieve California's clean energy goals and provide customers with additional energy choices.

Alternative Fuel and Vehicles
The Energy Commission approved two grants and contracts through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP), which supports the development and use of alternative and renewable fuel projects and advanced transportation technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on petroleum-based fuels.

Other Items Approved

A detailed list of all items before the Commission at today's business meeting can be found online.