For Immediate Release: January 9, 2019
SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved nearly $14 million in grants today to help researchers continue developing their clean energy projects.
Commissioners approved $12 million through the recently-established Bringing Rapid Innovation Development to Green Energy (BRIDGE) program, which allows start-up companies that have previously received federal funding to continue working on their technology without waiting for a new public funding opportunity or pausing to raise private funding, a process that can sometimes take years.
Sacramento-based Lucent Optics, Inc. received $1.6 million to further develop a low-cost LED lighting platform; Redwood City-based Ubiquitous Energy, Inc. received $3 million for continued development of a transparent solar coating that absorbs and converts non-visible light to electricity; Alameda-based Heliotrope Technologies, Inc. received $3.7 million to advance smart window technology that manages sunlight intensity as it passes through glass; and Burlingame-based Glint Photonics, Inc. received $2 million to continue developing an automated system for directing LED lighting.
Commissioners also approved $1.8 million in follow-on funding for projects that had previously received grants through the California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (CalSEED) Initiative, which provides support for early-stage clean energy projects. CalSEED awards up to $150,000 in initial funding and up to $450,000 in additional funding for projects that show potential.
Funding was awarded to Oakland-based CodeCycle LLC for a project to expand the functionality of software that helps improve the building energy code compliance process; Solana Beach-based Nativus for a prototype portable room air conditioner that uses half the energy of a conventional unit; Los Altos-based PowerFlex Systems, Inc. for development of software that optimizes multiple levels of electric vehicle charging, solar generation, energy generation, customer preference, and building load; and Emeryville-based Sepion Technologies for development of battery materials capable of powering electric vehicles for 400 miles. Each project received the maximum follow-on amount.
Both grant programs are funded through the Electric Program Investment Charge program, which supports clean energy research.
The Energy Commission also approved the California Energy Demand Updated Forecast, 2018-2030. The forecast is an update to the California Energy Demand 2018 – 2030 Revised Forecast, adopted in February 2018, which provides long-term forecasts on electricity consumption, retail sales, and peak demand for the state.
The update adds new information including more recent economic and demographic assumptions, as well as revised projections for the adoption of electric vehicle and behind-the-meter photovoltaic systems. Electric vehicles are projected to add more than 14,000 gigawatt hours of additional load by 2030—roughly 27 percent of forecasted load growth statewide. Behind-the-meter photovoltaic systems are forecasted to meet more than 10 percent of total end-user electricity consumption in 2030—up from slightly less than 4 percent in 2017.
Within the California Independent System Operator control area, an area of interest for state resource and system planning, retail sales are projected to decline over the forecast period due to significant levels of additional achievable energy efficiency. Peak system demand, however, is still expected to increase as the peak hour shifts later in the evening, diminishing the impact of solar.
More details are available in the business meeting agenda.
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About the California Energy Commission
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, and preparing for energy emergencies.