For Immediate Release: March 9, 2016
Media Contact: Linda Rapattoni - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Invests in Higher Efficiency Natural Gas Projects

SACRAMENTO - The California Energy Commission today approved $4.3 million in grants for projects to increase the efficiency of natural gas technology used in industrial, agriculture and water processes.

The Gas Technology Institute received two grants totaling nearly $2 million to demonstrate new waste heat recovery systems for industrial furnaces and steam boilers. Joseph Gallo Farms received a $1 million grant to demonstrate a waste heat recovery system using advanced absorption chiller technology, and ergSol Inc. received a $1 million grant to demonstrate an integrated high-efficient solar thermal system in the Central Valley.

The Gas Technology Institute also received a $1 million grant to develop and demonstrate an advanced natural gas engine to be installed in 18 vehicles such as delivery trucks and school buses. The engine will help improve air quality in Southern California.

The City of Petaluma received a $3 million grant to design and operate an anaerobic digestion system to produce 150,000 gasoline gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas from food and beverage waste and use the gas to fuel refuse trucks. The goal is to recycle waste and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

In other business, the Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority facility in Antioch received a 1 percent-interest loan and Soledad High School in Monterey County received a zero-percent interest loan to install solar panels on a roof and parking structures. The photovoltaic systems will save about $80,000 and $100,000, respectively, in annual energy costs, and reduce emissions that lead to high global warming.

California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) received a $33 million grant to develop and manage emerging new technologies that will provide cleaner, safer and more affordable energy solutions through the California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative (CalSEED). A portion of the grant will support projects from small businesses and disabled veteran, minority-, women- and LGBT-owned businesses and businesses in disadvantaged communities.

The Energy Commission approved about $8 million in grants to further its goals to reduce electricity waste from devices that plug into walls. The U.S. Department of Energy received grants to develop energy efficient gaming systems, medical and security devices, and technology for devices to alert building owners of wasteful and unsafe operations. Other grants went to Aggios, Inc. of Irvine, to reduce energy in set-top boxes, televisions, personal computers and game consoles; the University of California, Irvine to help reduce energy use in computers; and Home Energy Analytics, Inc. in Los Altos to develop a smart phone app that can advise ways to reduce wasted energy in homes.

For details on action taken at today’s business meeting see

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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.