For Immediate Release: August 14, 2019

En Español (Links to a PDF file)

Research investments help drive clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission today awarded $3.75 million to 25 early-stage, innovative projects as part of a portfolio of research investments that will help achieve the state’s climate and clean energy goals.

The Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge program, which drives clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship, funds the California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (CalSEED) Initiative.

“As we lead the state to a 100 percent clean energy future, funding early-stage concepts will help deliver a new era of sustainability,” said Energy Commission Vice Chair Janea A. Scott. “The technology will also benefit all Californians.”

Since 2017, CalSEED has awarded $12.4 million in EPIC funding to 75 projects statewide to help California entrepreneurs bring early-stage clean energy technologies to market.

Each awardee receives up to $150,000 in initial funding with up to $450,000 available in follow-on funding. In addition to funding, CalSEED provides access to technical expertise, mentoring, and business development training.

Today’s approved grants cover a wide range of early-stage projects in 10 California counties from the design and demonstration of a solar rooftop-tracking concept to the creation of a small power-generating window that uses microscale photovoltaic cells and quantum dot technology to produce electricity.

A focus of CalSEED is supporting projects that can benefit disadvantaged communities and those impacted by climate change.  Arvind Simhardri of Oakland will use his grant to explore prefabricated affordable housing that includes solar, storage, and community energy management. The homes would provide an affordable, quickly deployed renewable energy solution for those needing transitional housing after disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes.

Another recipient, Takachar of Saratoga, received money for a low-cost, mobile reactor that can turn crop and forest biomass into commercial products such as fuel, fertilizer, or other chemical precursors. Doing so would help reduce carbon emissions and generate power that can produce revenue.

Today’s CalSEED awardees can be found in the following chart.

More details are available in the Energy Commission’s business meeting agenda.

raphic on how CalSEED uses EPIC funds to help California entrepreneurs bring early stage clean energy concepts to market.


About the California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. It has seven core responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.