N E W S
RELEASE

CALIFORNIA
STATE SENATE


SENATOR DAVID G. KELLEY
37TH SENATE DISTRICT

STATE CAPITOL
SACRAMENTO, CA 95814
(916) 445-5581
SENATOR.KELLEY@SEN.CA.GOV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 1998





CONTACT: Betty Carapellese
PHONE: 760-346-2099



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 Gorgonio Pass.

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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