For Immediate Release: Apr. 8, 2015
Media Contact: Linda Rapattoni - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Approves Grants for
Transportation, Energy Storage, Biogas and Efficiency Programs
Adopts Investment Plan Update for Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission approved more than $83.7 million in grants and loans for 46 projects today at its monthly business meeting, ranging from a plant that converts forest waste to electricity to a manufacturing line for all-electric public buses.

The Energy Commission also took the first steps to implement the Governor's water conservation executive order by adopting emergency regulations establishing standards to improve the efficiency of toilets, urinals and faucets. The regulations take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Additionally, the Energy Commission approved the 2015-2016 Investment Plan Update for its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). The program develops and deploys innovative technologies that transform California's fuel and vehicle types to help attain the state's climate change goals. The annual Investment Plan Update determines priorities and opportunities for the program, describes how funding will complement existing public and private efforts, and guides funding decisions.

The 2014 Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Annual Report to the Legislature also won approval from the Energy Commission. EPIC is a multiyear, research investment program focuses on creating electricity-related innovations and bringing clean energy ideas to the marketplace.

Among the grants awarded by the Energy Commission were:

  • Nearly $21 million for nine projects that convert organic, municipal waste, and/or landfill waste into electricity in Brawley, Forest Hill, Orange County, Palm Springs, Redwood City, San Benito, San Bernardino County, Riverside and San Jose.
  • About $18 million for new microgrid projects in Fremont, Santa Rosa, Chino, Livermore and Borrego Springs that use renewable electricity, as well as smart inverters that automatically adjust to grid conditions.
  • Nearly $9 million in grants to three awardees in Poway, the City of Industry and Milpitas to encourage the manufacturing of alternative fuel vehicles and vehicle components in California that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, displace petroleum fuel demand and stimulate economic development.
  • A $5 million grant to install a commercial-scale gasification-to-electricity facility in North Fork within Madera County that converts forest wood waste to renewable electricity, while reducing fire risk, protecting watersheds, improving air quality and generating jobs.
  • A $3.4 million grant with Viridis Fuels, LLC to construct and operate a biodiesel production facility in Oakland. This facility will produce up to 20 million gallons of biodiesel annually from fats, oils and grease.
  • About $3.4 million in grants for research and development activities to increase operating efficiency and value of advanced ignition systems and fueling infrastructure for natural gas vehicles.

For all Commission actions taken at today's business meeting and details of projects listed above, 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. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. 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.