For Immediate Release: May 14, 2014
Media Contact: Amber Pasricha Beck - 916-654-4989


California Awards Millions for Transportation, Environmental Research and School Energy Efficiency Projects
Includes more than $6 million for alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicle-to-grid fleet

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission continued its support for zero-emission vehicle technologies by approving three major alternative fuel infrastructure agenda items totaling over $6 million at its monthly business meeting today. An additional $5 million was approved to help fund environmental research to improve natural gas efficiency and $4 million to fund energy efficiency projects in schools.

Moving toward a zero-emission transportation future

The transportation investments were funded through the Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). To date, the ARFVTP has invested more than $400 million in at least 260 alternative fuel, infrastructure, and vehicle technology projects. The Legislature's reauthorization of the ARVTP in 2013 continues the state's annual program investments of up to $100 million, and dedicates up to $20 million of this amount to the installation of hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Funding is derived from surcharges on vehicle and boat registrations, and smog check and license plate fees. This will help us get one million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2020 and one and half million by 2025.

"We need cleaner transportation to achieve California's climate and clean air goals," said Commissioner Janea A. Scott, who oversees the Commission's Fuels and Transportation division. "Investments in these technologies and supporting infrastructure play a vital role growing the market for zero-emission vehicles."

The investments include:

  • Electric vehicle charging: Ten grants totaling over $3.5 million for 181 electric vehicle charging stations to be installed along California highway corridors, and at destination locations, workplaces, and multifamily buildings. The approved recipients are Clean Fuel Connection, Bio-Rad Laboratories, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Redwood Coast Energy Authority, California EV Alliance, CSU Fresno Foundation, City of Coronado, City of Torrance, Southern California Public Power Authority, and Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
  • Heavy duty, vehicle-to-grid fleet: A $2.3 million contract to the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will help fund demonstration of an all-electric, heavy duty, non-tactical vehicle-to-grid (V2G) fleet at Moffett Field near San Jose. The vehicles will explore the revenue-generating capability of V2G technology to participate in California's electricity markets, where the vehicles can both get charged by the grid and send energy back to the grid to help meet demand.
  • Operations and maintenance for Hydrogen fueling stations: Four grants totaling $1.2 million for the operation and maintenance of hydrogen refueling stations throughout the state. This complements the Energy Commission's recently announced $46.6 million investment that will be used to build a hydrogen refueling station infrastructure. Automakers anticipate bringing the fuel-cell vehicles to the road starting this summer. The approved recipients are Air Liquide Industrial, Mebtahi Station Services, CSU Los Angeles University Auxiliary Services, and H2 Frontier.

Also approved during the business meeting:

  • Natural gas research: The Energy Commission also approved $5 million through the Natural Gas Research Program to spur innovation for natural gas. The six projects focus on combined heat and power systems and air quality associated with renewable natural gas. The Natural Gas Research Program funds development and demonstration research to improve natural gas efficiency, renewable energy and advanced generation, and energy infrastructure. The grant recipients include Desert Power, Etagen, the Cha Corporation and three California Universities.
  • Low and no interest efficiency loans: Two loans, totaling $4.2 million, were approved in low-interest loans for energy efficiency measures in schools through the Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA), a zero or low interest loan program providing funds to public entities.
    • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo received a $3 million loan at one percent interest for exterior lighting measures, central plant measures, and transformer replacement measures. The project is estimated to save approximately $350,000 in utility costs annually.
    • Sanger Unified School District, in the Central Valley, received a $1.2 million loan at zero percent interest for energy upgrades at three of the school district's facilities. The project is expected to save approximately $120,500 in utility costs annually.

To view all Commission actions taken at today's business meeting, view the Energy Commission business meeting agenda.

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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.

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