Sacramento, California - To help protect forests and support the state’s climate goals, the California Energy Commission released a grant funding opportunity focused heavily on research and development projects that convert waste timber to energy.

California is experiencing an unprecedented tree die-off caused by years of drought and exacerbated by a bark beetle infestation. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that 66 million trees have died so far, significantly increasing the potential risk and volatility of wildfires.

In December, the Governor declared a state of emergency because of the die off and directed the Energy Commission to prioritize grant funding from the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program for woody biomass-to-energy technology development.

The EPIC grant funding opportunity provides:

  • $5 million for research projects that use woody biomass to generate renewable electricity
  • $10 million to demonstrate innovative technologies, techniques and strategies that generate electricity using forest biomass from high hazard zones described in the Governor’s state of emergency message

Pre-application workshops that provide an overview of the funding opportunity and allow attendees to ask clarifying questions and network with other interested applicants will be held July 20 in Sacramento, July 21 at the Castle Business Park in Atwater and July 22 in Diamond Bar. Details are available on the Energy Commission’s website.

The Energy Commission is committed to increasing diversity in the energy sector and encourages women, minority, disabled veteran and LGBT businesses to engage in and benefit from its many programs.