The first general solicitation for proposals under the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER) will be released on or about February 13. Businesses with a track record and experience in energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of renewable energy projects such as geotheral and solar thermal, earth-friendly electric generation such as advanced gas turbines and fuel cells, and/or environmental research projects such as those that lessen the impacts of electricity generation and use on air, land and water resources, are encouraged to apply or partner with other applicants.
Deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. on March 20, 1998. Winning proposals will be announced in mid-June at a regularly scheduled Energy Commission business meeting.
Under PIER, the Energy Commission 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. The second general solicitation will consider proposals for end-use efficiency and strategic research projects.
California's electricity market enters the free market by March 31. The state'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 RD&D program responsibility from the electric utilities to the Commission through PIER. The program seeks to benefit California's electricity consumers by advancing energy science and technology not adequately provided by competitive and regulated makets. Complete information on PIER is available from the Energy Commission's Web site at:
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