The California Energy Commission on Jan. 13 approved loans, grants and actions to move forward with energy-saving initiatives, including reducing energy use through LED lighting projects and battery storage technologies.
The commission approved $9.6 million in funding from the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program, which develops, demonstrates, and brings to market technologies and best practices that support California’s energy policy goals. Grants approved focused on two areas:
- Energy Storage – Four grants totaling $6.2 million will develop, demonstrate and test energy storage systems. Battery systems can help increase performance, lower cost and help when energy demand is variable. The research done by the recipients will fill knowledge gaps in various battery technologies and establish readiness within the market. The four recipients are Fuel Cell Energy, EOS Energy Storage LLC, Lightsail Energy and Amber Kinetics Inc.
- Electric Vehicles – A nearly $700,000 grant was awarded to Andromeda Power LLC to develop a smart, fast-charging system for electric vehicles. The system would use real-time controls to efficiently enable automated demand response.
The commission also took the following actions on Jan. 13:
- To help develop and implement regulations and guidelines that support California’s energy efficiency, renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals, it opened a rulemaking process relating to regulatory responsibilities in Senate Bill 350 and Assembly Bill 802. The commission approved the proceeding to amend existing commission regulations and guidelines associated with the Renewables Portfolio Standard, and adopt new integrated resource planning guidelines. SB 350 sets these goals for 2030: 50% utility power coming from renewable energy; and 50% increase in energy efficiency in existing buildings. AB 802 authorizes investor-owned utilities to use direct financial incentives to bring buildings up to and beyond code as well as for energy saving operations and maintenance activities.
- The commission approved two $3 million low-interest loans to the City of Huntington Beach and Sacramento County to fund street LED lighting retrofit projects. Both projects are part of the Energy Conservation Assistance Act and will reduce electricity consumption and utility expenses, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.