For Immediate Release: April 30, 2013
Media Contact: Kelly M. Kell - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Awards Nearly $4 Million for Research Projects
Bay Area Firm to Demonstrate Above-Ground Compressed Air Energy Storage System

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today awarded $3,994,121 for five research projects ranging from energy storage and plug-in electric vehicle batteries to natural gas projects.

"Our investment in energy research will accelerate the development of clean energy technologies in California," said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. "These projects will help bring the state closer to achieving its renewable energy goals and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining safe and reliable energy for all Californians."

Foresight Renewable Solutions of San Francisco will receive $1.7 million to demonstrate renewable energy management using a compressed air energy storage system. The system will integrate solar photovoltaic technology to capture solar energy to compress air into above-ground tanks packaged in standard shipping containers. The system will be located at Naval Base Ventura County. The stored, compressed air will be used to generate electricity on an "on demand" basis to meet the facility's needs, including periods of high demand or grid outages.

The energy storage system will be deployed and operated within a microgrid context. The system will be connected to the state's electricity grid and will be capable of operating either independently or in conjunction with the grid, resulting in greater levels of energy security using renewable energy

This project includes $1,243,570 in match funding from Foresight Renewable Solutions and its project partners the Naval Expeditionary Warfare Center and LightSail Energy.

Today, the Energy Commission also awarded funding to the following projects:

  • University of California, Davis, (Yolo County) was awarded $900,000 to investigate emissions and leakages within California's natural gas infrastructure. Measurements will be taken for all significant possible sources of emissions and leaks, including the production, processing, transmission, and distribution of natural gas in buildings, neighborhoods, facilities, and regional settings. The project will help improve estimates of the magnitude and location of emissions and leaks and identify promising areas for mitigation, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased safety of natural gas services.
  • Electricore, Inc., of Valencia (Los Angeles County) received $750,000 to research value-based design options for the standardization of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) batteries. The project survey will include identifying barriers to standardizing, researching methods to implement battery system standards, and recommending potential paths to the commercial adoption of battery standards. Standardizing PEV batteries can reduce the purchase and ownership costs of PEVS, as well as addressing additional consumer issues such as maintenance and safety. This project includes $150,000 in match funding from San Diego Gas & Electric.
  • Anaergia Services of Carlsbad (San Diego County) received $395,121 to demonstrate a process which will convert green waste into renewable natural gas. The conversion process will also produce biochar, a soil amendment that can be used for agricultural purposes. The project includes $437,093 in match funding from Anaergia.
  • Humboldt State University Sponsored Programs Foundation was awarded $200,000 to conduct aerial surveys to estimate the number and distribution of golden eagles within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Planning area. Data gathered from the surveys will help assist wildlife conservation efforts related to the development of renewable energy projects in the desert ecosystem.

Funding for the projects come from the Energy Commission's research and development program. The program supports public interest research and development that helps improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, reliable, and affordable energy services and products to the marketplace. For more information, visit

Funds will be paid to the grantees after invoices are reviewed and approved.

# # #

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.

Sign up for California Energy Commission news releases at