For Immediate Release: February 6, 1998
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989



Energy Commission's PIER Program
Urges Greater Business Participation



With California's electricity industry moving into the free market, the California Energy Commission urges small, minority, women and disabled veteran owned businesses to take advantage of contracting opportunities arising from electricity deregulation.

One such opportunity is offered by the Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. The first solicitation for proposals to the program will be released February 13. Small, minority, women and disabled veteran owned companies with a track record and experience in research, development and demonstration projects that advance the science or technology of renewable energy, environmentally-preferred advanced generation and environmental research are encouraged to either apply or partner with other applicants.

The Energy Commission's PIER program will make available about $62 million a year from 1998 to 2001 for research projects with a strong potential to increase the reliability, cost-effectiveness and environmental cleanliness of the state's electricity industry. About $15 million is available for the first solicitation.

California's electricity deregulation law enables consumers to choose their own electricity provider, just as they now choose their own telephone service. The legislation also transferred the public interest energy research, development and demonstration program responsibility from the electric utilities to the Commission.

"The development of advanced energy technologies enables consumers to choose from expanded product and service offerings with reduced costs and environmental impacts, as well as increased electrical reliability," says Energy Commission Vice Chair David A. Rohy. "I believe that this program ensures continued research and development which benefits California."

A summary of the Request for Proposal (RFP 500-97-503) is provided electronically via an automated e-mail system called a list server. Companies interested in receiving more information can link to the list server at:

www. energy.ca.gov/html/listservers.html




Complete information on the PIER program is available from the Energy Commission's Web site at:

www.energy.ca.gov/research




A copy of the RFP will be available from the Web site on or after February 13.

The Energy Commission also compiles a handbook of eligible small, minority, women and disabled veteran owned businesses. Pre-bid workshops also provide businesses an opportunity to meet prime contractors interested in bidding on the proposal. If you are interested in learning more about the Commission's contract process or would like a printed copy of the RFP, call the Commission's Contracts Office at (916) 654-4788 (voice mail). You can also send a fax to (916) 654-4423 or an e-mail to:


JLOVE@energy.state.ca.us



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