For Immediate Release: June 28, 2016
Media Contact: Michael Ward - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission’s Bioenergy Grant Opportunity Addresses Tree Mortality

To help protect forests and support the state’s climate goals, the California Energy Commission today released a grant funding opportunity focused heavily on research and development projects that convert waste timber to energy.

California is experiencing an unprecedented tree die-off caused by years of drought and exacerbated by a bark beetle infestation. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that 66 million trees have died so far, significantly increasing the potential risk and volatility of wildfires.

In December, the Governor declared a state of emergency because of the die off and directed the Energy Commission to prioritize grant funding from the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program for woody biomass-to-energy technology development.

The EPIC grant funding opportunity provides:

  • $5 million for research projects that use woody biomass to generate renewable electricity
  • $10 million to demonstrate innovative technologies, techniques and strategies that generate electricity using forest biomass from high hazard zones described in the Governor’s state of emergency message

Pre-application workshops that provide an overview of the funding opportunity and allow attendees to ask clarifying questions and network with other interested applicants will be held July 20 in Sacramento, July 21 at the Castle Business Park in Atwater and July 22 in Diamond Bar. Details are available on the Energy Commission’s website.

The Energy Commission is committed to increasing diversity in the energy sector and encourages women, minority, disabled veteran and LGBT businesses to engage in and benefit from its many programs.

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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.