Energy Commission Approves Research Grants to Support Entrepreneurs in the Clean Energy Sector
SACRAMENTO: The California Energy Commission voted today to approve 18 grants totaling almost $3 million to design, develop or test technical feasibility for technologies in the areas of energy storage, energy efficiency, renewables and water.
The grants, which are capped at $150,000, are funded through the California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (CalSEED) Initiative, which supports entrepreneurs working on early-stage clean energy concepts. Some of the projects include:
- Designing “solar shrubs” that use thin film photovoltaics in bio-mimicking leaf designs. California State University, Fullerton, will create a prototype using advanced 3D printing to create an easy-to-install and easy-to-move sustainable solar product for homes.
- Developing building insulation material with improved performance, fire-resistance, and cost. DTE Materials Incorporated in San Luis Obispo will use natural fiber additives instead of fiberglass. The project will pilot the insulation in two buildings and one home.
- Developing and testing a prototype device that can retrofit irrigation canals and non-powered dams to produce electricity. GenH of San Jose will construct a prototype to test systems under real-world conditions.
- Demonstrating a filtration system hardware component that can reduce energy consumption for agricultural irrigation systems by 25 to 50 percent. Perigo Welding Works in Strathmore plans to test the system and conduct side-by-side comparisons to an existing filter system at a campus farm at Fresno State.
- Building a prototype of a ducted thermal energy battery integrated into a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Stasis Group, Inc. in Modesto aims to reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool buildings by eliminating up to 25 percent of the peak load of space conditioning systems.
The other award recipients are: Crossno & Kaye, LLC; Empow Lighting; ETC Sola, LLC; FerroPower Technologies; InPipe Energy; Ocean Motion Technologies; Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.; Pick My Solar; Pronoia, Inc.; SkyCool Systems, Inc.; Smartville Energy, LLC; the University of California, Riverside.
The Energy Commission approved nearly $5 million to the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. to demonstrate a standardized, renewable energy microgrid at the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Port Hueneme Division near Oxnard. The data from the project will support commercial deployment of microgrids for military and non-military applications.
The grants come from the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which funds clean energy innovations, strategies, and applications that help the state meet its energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
The Energy Commission also approved the City of Del Mar’s request to adopt enhanced building energy efficiency standards.
Del Mar’s ordinance requires new non-residential construction and non-residential remodels with a construction value of more than $150,000 to adhere to the 2016 CALGreen Tier 1 Standards. The requirement will increase energy efficiency by 5 to 10 percent and save building owners up to $76,000 over a 15-year period. This is the nineteenth local ordinance approved in California that establishes standards that exceed state requirements.
More details are available in the business meeting agenda.
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About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.