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Funds approved to help California energy companies
gain foothold abroad, study energy issues in Baja
Sacramento --The California Energy Commission has approved funds to help California's renewable energy companies gain business footholds overseas, including the Baja California Norte region of Mexico.
"California continues to march toward its goal of producing 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2010," said Energy Commission Vice Chair James D. Boyd. "Along the way, it is helping energy companies based in the state transfer their technologies to the world's emerging economies."
In a related move, the Commission approved a contract to help facilitate meetings with government agencies in Baja Norte. The idea is to enable state energy policy makers fully understand the region's energy infrastructure issues as they relate to the border with the United States, particularly California.
At a regular business meeting, the Commission awarded $25,000 each to:
- Princeton Development Corporation of Sausalito, to tap potential wind power development in the San Felipe region of Baja;
- Energy Systems International of Monterey, for a project proposing to develop rooftop photovoltaic projects on 1,000 houses in Mexicali; and
- San Diego Regional Energy Office, for energy audits of facilities in the Maquiladoras area of Tijuana that could drum up other border energy efficiency and on site generation projects.
The seed money is part of the International Energy Fund administered by the Commission's Energy Technology Export Program. The awards assist California's renewable energy companies make feasibility studies, market assessments and site analyses crucial to the early stages of project planning abroad that often dictate selection for the job. There is an estimated $125 billion a year in potential energy business abroad.
The Commission also approved:
- $278,492 ($205,500 from federal funds) for Nexant, Inc. of San Francisco, to help establish a project-financing network made up of investment and merchant banks, government banks like the US Export-Import Bank, venture capitalists and other investors. The network is intended to identify competitive financing sources for small and mid-size California energy companies competing for business in foreign markets.
- $27,800 contract with BCS, Incorporated, of Columbia, Maryland, to help the Energy Commission conduct project financing conferences and international trade missions; and
- $461,253 for Oakland-based consulting firm KEMA, Inc. to perform tasks related to California-Mexico border issues identified by the Commission's 2005 Energy Report. These include organizing bi-national meetings between the Commission and federal and local Mexican officials; evaluating requirements for a cross-border emission credit trading and the mix of natural gas pipelines and transmission lines that deliver electricity and natural gas from Mexico to California; and analyzing transportation issues to improve fuel efficiency and fuel diversity for cargo trucks. Most of the funding depends on its availability in the state's budget for the next two fiscal years.
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