Grants from the California Energy Commission

Goals

  • To create a list of all grant awards from the last 10 years from the California Energy Commission.

Early Findings

Grant Programs from the California Energy Commission

1. Geothermal Resources Development Account (GRDA)

  • Program Summary: "The funds from this account come from revenues paid by geothermal developers for leases on federal land in California."
  • "Solicitations are generally offered every 2 to 3 years."
  • "The most recent solicitation was offered in October 2016, with a Notice of Proposed Awards issued in March 2017."
  • Roughly $2.28 million is left to award in total as of January 2019.

2. Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)

  • Program Summary: "The Electric Program Investment Charge was created to fund public interest investments in clean energy technologies and approaches for the benefit of electricity ratepayers of California’s three largest electric investor-owned utilities."
  • Solicitations are continuously released throughout the year.
  • Max/ Min Award Amounts: "Funding will vary, but project funding levels are expected to range between $250,000 and $5 million."
  • Funding Source: "The California Public Utilities Commission established the purposes and governance for the Electric Program Investment Charge in Decision on May 24, 2012."
  • Approximately $133.2 million per year is awarded in total.

3. Low Carbon Fuel Research and Development Program

  • Program Summary: "Budget Act of 2016, authorized the Energy Commission to implement a Low Carbon Fuel Research and Development Program to support the advancement of low-carbon drop-in fuels production derived from California’s biomass feedstock that can be produced to be fully compatible with existing infrastructure and vehicle technologies."
  • "Applications for the traditional grant funding opportunity were accepted in early 2017. The application cycle started in August 2016 and ended in October 2017. This was a one-time funding authority, and future opportunities are TBD."
  • Max/ Min Award Amounts: Project funding levels range from $600,000 to $5,700,000.
  • Funding Source: General Fund from the Budget Act of 2016
  • All funding was awarded by February 2018.

4. Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) Food Production Investment Program (FPIP)

  • Program Summary: "The program focuses on accelerating the adoption of advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at California food processing plants, demonstrate their reliability and effectiveness and help California food processors achieve a low-carbon future."
  • A grant solicitation was released in June 2018 and closed on August 31, 2018.
  • "Additional periodic solicitations could be released in the future pending funds available."
  • Max/ Min Award Amounts: Project funding levels range from $100,000 to $8,000,000, depending on the tier.
  • Funding Source: GGRF (CA Climate Investments)
  • $57 million was available for funding in FY 17-18, while $60 million was available for FY 18-19.

5. Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) — Natural Gas Funding

  • Program Summary: "The funds are collected from natural gas ratepayers of California Investor Owned Utilities. These funds are administered by the California Energy Commission to provide public interest natural gas research programs.
  • "Solicitations are continuously released throughout the year. "
  • Max/ Min Award Amounts: Varies depending on solicitation. Recent solicitations have accepted awards up to $2 million.
  • Funding Source: "Annual funding approved by CPUC, and funds are transferred from CPUC Gas Consumption Surcharge Fund "
  • Approximately $21 million per year is left to award in total.

6. Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP)

  • Program Summary: The ARFVT Program provides "approximately $100 million annually to promote innovative transportation technologies that increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advancing California's efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce petroleum use, improve air quality, and stimulate sustainable production and use of biofuels in California."
  • Max/ Min Award Amounts: Varies by each solicitation
  • Funding Source: Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Fund
  • As of December 2018, approximately $200 million was left to award in total.

7. Low Carbon Fuel Production and Supply (Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds)

  • Program Summary: "California's 2018-19 State Budget Act appropriated $12.5 million in Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds to the California Energy Commission to fund Low-Carbon Fuel Production and Supply Projects within California. "
  • Funding Source: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
  • $12.5 million was left to reward in total as of January 2019.

8. School Bus Replacement Program and Supporting Fueling Infrastructure

  • Program Summary: "Senate Bill 110 (SB 110), Chapter 55, Statutes of 2017 allocates up to $75 million to public school districts and county offices of education (COE) for grants to replace the oldest school buses. The program is emphasizing new electric school buses as the preferred replacement type and compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses if justified. "
  • The application period closed on September 20, 2018."

Summary

  • For the initial hour, we tried identifying as much of the requested information as possible. To inform the research better, we mainly focused on identifying the different types of grants available from the California Energy Commission and tried identifying a list of grant awardees or recipients.
  • For this hour, we were able to identify insights on the eight types of grants available from the California Energy Commission, which we described above, along with more general insights on how much they have awarded.
  • Research suggests that additional information and insights on grant awardees for some of these different programs are available, particularly for the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant and the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) grants. We can start by focusing on these two programs. Please let us know in a comment below if this is a direction we should pursue for the other programs or let us know if there any of the aforementioned programs are of specific interest.
  • We also tried reviewing any insights from the Auditor of the State of California's website, but nothing relevant came up.
  • Currently, we cannot do a public records request from the CEC.
  • Feel free to add or select an option below.

Proposed next steps:

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