For Immediate Release: October 16, 1998
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Public Interest Research Projects
Receive Funding of $13.6 Million

A variety of research projects -- ranging from the development of more efficient, low-cost kitchen lights, to the building of a surge protector to prevent brownouts, thus ensuring electric grid reliability -- have been approved for funding by the California Energy Commission.

Twenty-four public interest research projects will receive combined funds of $13.6 million, in line with the state's desire to make electricity safer, more affordable, reliable and environmentally-sound for Californians. About $6.3 million in matching funds will be provided by the organizations submitting the winning proposals.

The 24 winners were selected out of 169 proposals from the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) community in response to the second general solicitation of the Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

Specifically, the Commission's RD&D Committee recommended funding $6.8 million for 14 projects to improve end-use energy efficiency. The same amount goes to 10 strategic energy research projects.

In the first round of PIER solicitations in June, 1998, 20 additional projects dealing with environmental research, advanced generation and renewable energy technology were awarded $18.3 million. Matching funds for those projects amounted to $48 million.

In California's restructured electricity market, the Energy Commission's PIER program makes certain that ratepayers continue to reap RD&D benefits from technology advancement. PIER will make available about $62 million annually through the year 2001 for public interest research projects that advance energy science or technology, areas not adequately provided for by regulated and competitive markets.

"These awards round out the first cycle of PIER contracts, setting a foundation for future innovations and inventions," said Commission Vice Chair David A. Rohy, who heads the RD&D Committee. "They represent broad opportunities and investments in the future."

In the area of end-use energy efficiency, funding was provided to:

Funding for strategic energy research goes to:

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