PALM SPRINGS AREA PROJECT GET FUNDING FOR PUBLIC INTEREST ENERGY RESEARCH
State Senator David Kelley (R-Idyllwild) announced that the California Energy
Commission has approved $950,000 in funds for a research project in the San
The project by The Wind Turbine Company of Bellevue, Washington, to develop and
test a 340-kilowatt wind turbine was one of 20 projects funded by the Energy
Commission for a total of $18.3 million. Finalists were selected from 181
proposals submitted by the research, development and demonstration (RD&D)
community in response to the first general solicitation of the Commission's
Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program.
Senator Kelley said the new wind turbine, when commercialized, will result in
lower prices for electricity generated in high wind areas of the state.
The Energy Commission's PIER program seeks public interest RD&D projects with the
most potential to make electricity safer, more affordable, reliable and
environmentally sound for California. PIER took over most of the public interest
RD&D responsibilities of the electric utilities during the regulated market. The
program makes certain that ratepayers continue to reap RD&D benefits in the new
competitive marketplace. It will make available about $62 million annually
through the year 2001 for public interest energy research projects advancing
energy science or technology not adequately provided by either markets.
The Wind Turbine Company's project and the other winners were selected after each
proposal underwent a thorough review and scoring process based on technical and
policy evaluation criteria.
Proposals for the first general solicitation were sought in the areas of
renewables technology, environmental research and advanced generation. Firms
submitting the winning projects now have until July 10 to agree to the standard
terms and conditions of their contracts with the Energy Commission.
A list of the program's second general solicitation will be announced in
September in the areas of end-use energy efficiency and strategic energy
research. This is expected to be followed by a "Small Grants" solicitation to
provide modest funding to help recipients evaluate which RD&D concepts are
feasible to further stimulate new energy innovations in California.
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