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CA Home Solar Mandate Now Allows Community Projects (Ind Report)
California Energy Commission
Date: 2020-05-11
In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CEC) reports it has approved off-site "community solar" solar projects as an option to its recently enacted rooftop solar requirement for most new homes and low-rise apartments in California to install rooftop solar. With the approval, participating builders are now required to offer home buyers a choice between rooftop or community solar delivered via existing transmission lines.

California's solar mandate, which went into effect on Jan. 1, this year, required most new single-family homes or low-rise apartments to install rooftop solar panels owned by the homeowner or leased from a solar company, that would sell the generated electricity back to the homeowner at a discounted rate. (Source: California Energy Commission, Builder Mag., May,2020) Contact: California Energy Commission,

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commision,  California Rooftop Solar,  Community Solar,  

Lystek Demonstrates New Anaerobic Digestion Tech. (Ind. Report)
Lystek International,California Energy Commission
Date: 2020-05-08
Cambridge, Ontario-headquartered Lystek International Limited reports it is working with the Goleta California Sanitary District (GSD)and the California Energy Commission (CEC) on a project that separates and co-digests organic food waste in a mobile skid-mounted anaerobic digester.

For the CEC funded project the digesters are being fed at variable rates to verify and document the level of biogas generation from the food waste collected and provide "real-world information that other wastewater and solid waste professionals can use to determine how best to manage SSO and food waste material."

In the coming months, Lystek will submit the results from the first phase of the project to the CEC. The next steps will include investigating the use of the company's patented low-temperature thermal hydrolysis process, LystekTHP, and the LysteMize refeed process for AD optimisation. According to the company, this allows for post-digestion processing of biosolids and the recirculation of the processed material, providing an improved biogas yield and increased energy generation. (Source: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,; Lystek International Limited, May, 2020) Contact: Lystek International Ltd., James Dunbar, Bus. Dev, GM, (226) 444-0186, (888) 501-6508, (707) 430-5500 -- Calif.,, www

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission ,  Lystek International,  Anaerobic Digester,  

Santa Ana Lauded for Cutting Energy Consumption (Ind. Report)
SBT Alliance,New Buildings Institute
Date: 2020-03-13
In the Golden State, the Smarter Building Technologies Alliance (SBT) Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Award for driving greater energy efficiency through smarter IoT-enabled technologies has been awarded to the city of Santa Ana for an energy retrofit and retro-commissioning project estimated to curb energy consumption for the city's HVAC by 88 pct. The project was funded by the California Energy Commission and was also part of the NBI "Leading in LA" initiative.

The Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Award recognizes outstanding work in support of the dramatic transformation taking place in today's electric power markets. (Source: Smarter Building Technologies Alliance, Inc., PR, Mar., 2020) Contact: Smarter Building Technologies Alliance, Inc., Kevin Martin, 800-832-2943 Ext. 704,,; New Buildings Institute,

More Low-Carbon Energy News SBT Alliance,  New Buildings Institute,  

California Mandatory Rooftop Solar Rule Amended (Ind. Report)
California Rooftop Solar
Date: 2020-02-26
Following up on our Dec. 18, 2019 coverage, the California Energy Commission (CEC) reports it has approved a proposal to amend its mandatory new building rooftop solar program to allow some new Sacramento housing developments to use offsite "community" solar in place of individual building rooftop solar installations.

The new solar rules were approved by the legislature and former California Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, making California the first state to mandate solar. The California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates the new mandates will add about $9,500 to the price of an average house while saving roughly $19,000 in reduced energy bills over 30 years. (Source: California Energy Commission, CalMatters, 23 Feb., 2020) Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Rooftop Solar,  California Rooftop Solar,  Soalr,  Rooftop Solar,  California Energy Commission,  

Aemetis Scores $4.1Mn Grant for Biogas Upgrading (Ind. Report)
Date: 2020-01-31
Cupertino, California-based advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals specialist Aemetis, Inc. is reporting its Aemetis Biogas LLC, subsidiary has received $4.1 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission's Low Carbon Fuel Production Program to construct a biogas upgrading facility to convert dairy biogas to renewable natural gas (RNG).

The Aemetis Central Dairy Digester and Pipeline Project is designed to capture methane gas currently emitted from dairy manure lagoons, pre-treat the biogas at each dairy to remove harmful components, then transport the methane via pipeline from each dairy to a biogas upgrading facility at the Aemetis Keyes ethanol plant. After the biogas is upgraded to utility pipeline quality RNG, the RNG will be utilized at the Keyes ethanol plant to replace carbon-intensive petroleum natural gas currently used to generate steam and power at the plant, or will be injected into PG&E's gas pipeline to be utilized as transportation fuel.

Aemetis expects to complete construction and begin operation of its first two dairy digesters, the onsite dairy biogas pre-treatment units, a 4-mile Aemetis pipeline and a new biogas boiler at the Keyes plant in Q2 2020.

Aemetis has received approximately $18 million in CEC grants to support its Aemetis Central Dairy Digester and Pipeline Project, and for carbon reduction energy efficiency upgrades to the Keyes Plant.(Source: Aemetis Inc., PR, 29 Jan., 2020) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News anaerobic digester,  California Energy Commission,  Aemetis,  Biofuel,  

Aemetis Awarded $14Mn in Energy Efficiency Grants (Ind. Report)
California Energy Commission,Aemetis
Date: 2020-01-29
Cupertino, California-headquartered Aemetis, Inc. is reporting its subsidiary Aemetis Advanced Fuels Keyes, Inc. has scored two grants totaling $14 million from the California Energy Commission for plant upgrades to reduce reduce natural gas consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve efficiency and decrease operating costs, and reduce the carbon intensity of fuel grade ethanol produced at the Keyes plant. The upgrades are expected to improve the annual operating cash flow of the Keyes plant by $13 million, according to the release.

The upgrades will include installation of a 1.56-MW photovoltaic micro grid solar array with integrated battery energy storage and an AI-driven power distribution control system, which is expected to significantly reduce the natural gas consumption improve operational efficiency. (Source: Aemetis, PR, NewsWire, 28 Jan., 2020)Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Aemetis,  Biofuel,  

CEC Offers $11Mn in Energy Storage Solicitation (Funding)
California Energy Commission
Date: 2020-01-03
In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a solicitation to fund innovative, non-Li-ion energy storage research projects, including green electrolytic hydrogen systems. This solicitation aims to fund the development and field testing of emerging energy storage technologies for the purpose of raising the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and accelerating market penetration.

  • Group 1 -- $9 million available to develop and validate new and emerging non-Lithium ion energy storage technologies that focus on customer side of the meter applications. This group will focus on supporting energy storage technologies that are in the early stages of development. Group 1 will support the development and field testing of emerging and prototype energy storage systems.

  • Group 2 -- $2 million available to develop and validate green electrolytic hydrogen storage systems in customer side of the meter applications with an electricity-in and electricity-out capability. This group will focus specifically on green electrolytic hydrogen systems.

    Group 2 will be open to Applied Research applications of green electrolytic hydrogen as a stationary energy storage system that is comparable in performance to other stationary energy storage systems (such as advanced batteries, flywheels, thermal storage, and compressed air systems). The hydrogen systems must demonstrate an electricity-in and electricity-out solution in customer side of the meter applications (not just generate electrolytic hydrogen). Additional services (such as heat, oxygen, compressed air or other non-electricity products) can be proposed as long as they have value to the customer and the primary input and output is electricity and the overall system is projected to be cost effective when it reaches the scale necessary for future commercialization.

    Download the solicitation HERE. (Source: California Energy Commission, Jan., 2019) Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission ,  Energy Storage,  

  • Calif. Rooftop Solar Requirement Effective Jan. 1 (Ind. Report)
    California Rooftop Solar
    Date: 2019-12-18
    In the Golden State, on Jan. 1, new state building codes requiring all new new homes constructed in the state to include solar collection panels will come into force on Jan. 1, 2010.

    The new solar rules were approved by the legislature and former California Governor Jerry Brown in 2018, making California the first state to mandate solar. The California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates the new mandates will add about $9,500 to the price of an average house while saving roughly $19,000 in reduced energy bills over 30 years. (Source: CEC, CBS SF Bay, 16 Dec., 2019)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jerry Brown,  Solar,  California Rooftop Solar,  

    Calififornia Local Energy Efficiency Standards Exceeding Statewide Standards Approved (Ind. Report, Reg. & Leg.)
    California Energy Commission
    Date: 2019-12-13
    In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is reporting approval of six applications from the cities of Menlo Park, San Jose, San Mateo, and Santa Monica; County of Marin and West Hollywood.cities of Menlo Park, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Marin County for local energy ordinances that exceed statewide requirements of the 2010 CalGREEN green building standard and the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

    The CEC also approved the 2019 California Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which addresses building energy efficiency, efficiency in the industrial and agricultural sectors, barriers to energy efficiency for low-income and disadvantaged communities, and using efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. The 2019 standards take effect 1 January 2020.

    Statewide standards focus on smart residential photovoltaic systems, updated and cost effective insulation standards, residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements, and nonresidential lighting updates to take advantage of the rapid improvement in LED lighting technology. (Source: California Energy Commission, Green Car Congress, 12 Dec. 2019) Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Green Building,  Energy Efrficiency,  

    Caban Scores $1.9Mn for Energy Storage Software Expansion (Funding)
    Caban Systems
    Date: 2019-08-14
    In the Golden State, Burlingame-based Caban Systems, a leader in the design and manufacture of software-enabled energy storage systems for the telecommunications industry, is reporting receipt of $1.9 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The funds will be used to expand energy systems production capacity to meet growing customer demand in the state.

    The California Public Utilities Commission reported that during 2017 storm outages, "Almost one million customers could not make 9-1-1 calls, more than 790,000 customers experienced loss of communication service, and more than 52,000 businesses experienced service interruptions." Even more recent wildfire-related power outages highlight California's immediate need to accelerate the adoption of energy storage platforms for critical infrastructure.

    Grid-independent solutions like those offered by Caban can help both state and telecommunication operators provide reliable communications at all times. Caban System's Burlingame manufacturing line will produce a purpose-built, modular battery storage system that will provide reliable, redundant power sources for critical infrastructure systems across California. (Source: Caban Systems, PR, CISION, Yahoo, 13 Aug., 2019) Contact: Caban Systems, Alexandra Rasch, Founder & CEO , Jacqueline Castillo, (305) 989-2861,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage news,  Energy Storage Software news,  

    Sierra Energy Closes on $33Mn for FastOx Technology (Funding)
    Sierra Energy
    Date: 2019-08-02
    Davis, California-based Sierra Energy Corp.reports it has closed a $33 million series A investment round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and joined by Cox Investment Holdings Inc., BNP Paribas SA, and others. The funding will be used to develop and commercialize the company's FastOx gasification technology, which converts virtually any waste into clean, renewable energy and fuels without burning.

    Sierra Energy's FastOx technology, developed by Sierra Energy and supported by grant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense and the California Energy Commission, uses oxygen and steam to heat waste to 4,000 degrees F at which it breaks down into an energy-dense syngas allowing the recovery of inorganic material as either a non-leaching stone or molten metal, according to the company. Sierra Energy's modular FastOx technology can be scaled to large size, does not produce process emissions and all outputs are saleable, according to the company. (Source: Sierra Energy Corp. , 31 July, 2019) Contact: Sierra Energy Corp., Mike Hart, CEO, (530)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Sierra Energy,  Syngas,  

    San Mateo Reviewing Green Building, Efficiency Codes (Ind. Report)
    San Mateo,Green Building
    Date: 2019-07-15
    In the Golden State, the city of San Mateo (pop. 105,000 +-) is considering new construction energy efficiency incentives to encourage new construction developers to electrify their buildings, install solar panels, expand EV charging capacity and other initiatives in an effort to increase energy efficiency, cur energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Ordinances slated for review include two options for builders of new construction to reduce natural gas consumption within their developments. By either building an all-electric structure at the minimum efficiency required by the state's energy code or designing a mixed-fuel building using natural gas and electricity at a higher efficiency level, developers can meet the proposed reach code for electrification, according to a staff report.

    For single-family and duplex projects, builders can either construct all-electric buildings or design a mixed-fuel building 15 pct above the state code's energy efficiency requirement, which officials estimate could save builders $5,300 in construction costs as compared to a mixed-fuel home. An all-electric design for homes is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 50 pct in most cases as compared to a mixed-fuel design, according to the report.

    The proposed ordinance for office buildings would require builders to design an all-electric building or a mixed-fuel development 10 pct above the state code's energy efficiency requirement, which could involve using windows less prone to heat, natural sunlight and occupancy sensors. An all-electric office building designed to meet the 2019 state code is estimated to cost $57,300 less to construct compared to a comparable mixed-fuel building, according to the city council's report.

    If adopted by the San Mateo city council and the California Energy Commission, the new codes will come into force Jan. 1, 2020. (Source: City of San Mateo, Daily Journal, July, 2019) Contact: City of San Mateo, Andrea Chow, Sustainability Analyst,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Green Building,  

    Sonoma Clean Power Offers Energy Efficient Equipment (Ind Report)
    Sonoma Clean Power
    Date: 2019-07-10
    In the Golden State, the not-for-profit energy aggregator Sonoma Clean Power reports it is partnering with the California Energy Commission to free energy-saving equipment to commercial businesses and residential customers in exchange for data collection. Customers pay for installation costs, but the energy company will pay for such equipment as lighting, cooling and ventilation, water heating and more, according to SCP.

    The data collected will provide insight into best practices for manufacturers and installers and to educate consumers on how upgrades can reduce utility bills.

    In the commercial sector there is opportunity for three businesses to receive upgraded lighting; 10 businesses to receive new insulation; and two food service businesses to receive induction cooktops. SCP also has a loan program for residents to try out induction cooktops which the company believes are more energy efficient than standard appliances. For residential customers the company will accept 10 homes to receive cooling and ventilation; 10 homes for air sealing; and 10 homes for grid-integrated water heaters. (Source: Sonoma Clean Power, Index Tribune, 8 July, 2019)Contact: Sonoma Clean Power, (855) 202-2139,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  

    Oberon Fuels Planning Renewable Dimethyl Ether Production (Int'l)
    Oberon Fuels,California Energy Commission
    Date: 2019-07-01
    In the Golden State, San Diego-based clean transportation fuel producer Oberon Fuels is reporting receipt of almost $2.9 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The funding is in support of a project to produce the the state's first renewable dimethyl ether (rDME), an economic fuel and key step in the development of a California-based, renewable hydrogen (rH2) pathway to zero-emission mobility fuel.

    Oberon plans to upgrade its existing DME pilot facility to demonstration scale to facilitate the first production of this renewable fuel. The company will test modified diesel trucks fueled with rDME, assess the feasibility of converting renewable methanol into rDME and developing associated fueling infrastructure, alongside commercial partners. (Source: Oberon Fuels, Bioenergy Insight, 1 July, 2019) Contact: Oberon Fuels, Rebecca Boudreaux, Pres., (619) 255-9361, Fax - (619)756-6470,,; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DME,  Oberon Fuels,  California Energy Commission,  

    Miramar's $1.4M Alt. Fuels Program Funded (Ind. Report, Funding)
    California Energy Commission
    Date: 2019-06-17
    In the Golden State, San Diego Miramar College, a public community college, is reporting receipt of a 5-year, $1.4 million contract from the California Energy Commission to develop the Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Training Enhancement Program to help participating students enter the alternative fuels, energy and technology fields.

    Students will receive workplace "on the job" training for jobs focusing on reducing carbon emissions from vehicles. The program will be additional to the college's existing automotive technology program. (Source: Miramar College, City News Service, 14 June, 2019) Contact: Miramar College,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Alternative Fuels,  

    Quantum Fuel, QBI Announce Calif. Biogas Collaboration (Ind. Report)
    Quantum Fuel
    Date: 2019-04-29
    Ventura, California-based alternative fuel systems provider Quantum Fuel Systems reports it has partnered with Quantitative BioSciences (QBI) on a new dairy biogas project in Modesto, California.

    Under the agreement, QBI will purchase Quantum's newest ten Virtual Pipeline trailers for use in the biogas facility funded by the California Energy Commission. The project is being developed by QBI and Fiscalini Cheese Company, and will result in the construction of a biofuels production facility to purify and compress biomethane from anaerobic digesters into transportation fuel. When fully operational, the he project is expected to produce 450 diesel gallon equivalent of CNG per day, According the Quantum, (Source; Quantum Fuel Systems, BioiEnergy Insights, 25 April, 2019) Contact: Quantum Fuel Systems, Mark Arnold, Pres., 805-308-6067,; Quantitative BioSciences Inc., Natalie Cookson, CEO,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  Methane,  Niomethane,  Anaerobic Digestion,  CNG,  

    Anaergia Touts CA Food Diversion, Energy Recovery Plant (Ind Report)
    Date: 2019-03-13
    Further to our December 14, 2018 coverage, Burlington, Ontario-based organics recycling solution provider Anaergia is reporting it will soon launch what it says will be North America's largest food waste diversion and energy recovery facility in Rialto, California. The plant will process 1,000 tpd of locally sourced food waste and bio-solids to produce pipeline-injected renewable natural gas (RNG).

    The plant, which is slated to launch in mid-2020, will produce the equivalent of 13 MW of clean energy per year. The net CO2 emissions reduction will be approximately 220,000 metric tpy -- equivalent to removing 47,500 cars off the road. The project is co-funded by the California Energy Commission, U.S. DOE, CalRecycle, the state of California and significant private investment.

    Anaergia's proprietary technology separates organics from mixed solid waste of any contamination level to recover energy and make fertilizer. The process involves anaerobic digestion (AD). (Source: Anaergia, Waste 360, Mar., 2019) Contact: Anaergia Andrew Benedek, CEO, (905) 766-3333,, City of Rialto, Tom Crowley, Utilities Mgr., (909) 820-2608,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Anaergia,  Anerobic Digestion ,  

    USDA Commits to $125Mn Aemetis Riverbank Biorefinery (Funding)
    Date: 2019-02-13
    Following up on our 24th January coverage, Cupertino, California-based Aemetis, Inc. is reporting the USDA has issued a Conditional Commitment under the 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program to guarantee a $125 million, 20-year loan to company's cellulosic ethanol plant to be built in Riverbank, California. The Riverbank plant is designed to convert orchard, forest and other biomass waste into cellulosic ethanol with below zero carbon emissions.

    The Riverbank biorefinery project recently won a $12 million California state tax waiver and a $5 million California Energy Commission Notice of Proposed Award. Preliminary engineering for the project has been completed and construction is expected to get underway in mid-2019. (Source: Aemetis, PR, 12 Feb., 2019) Contact: Aemetis, Eric McAfee, CEO , Todd Waltz, (408) 213-0940,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Riverbank ,  Aemetis,  USDA,  Cellulosic Ethanol,  

    Anaergia's Anaerobic Digestion Rialto Bioenergy Facility Construction Underway (Ind. Report)
    Anaergia Inc
    Date: 2018-12-14
    Anaergia Inc. is reporting construction is underway at the Rialto Bioenergy Facility east of Los Angeles, California. The facility will divert 300,000 tpy of organic waste from landfills and, using Anaergia's anaerobic digestion technology, produce the equivalent of 13 mw of clean energy per year. The net CO2 emissions reduction will be approximately 220,000 metric tpy.

    The Rialto projectis being developed in collaboration with Waste Management, Republic Services, Southern California Edison, Anaheim Public Utility, Southwest Gas Utility, City of Rialto, the Sanitation Bureau of the City of Los Angeles, and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, and of Orange County. The project is co-funded by the California Energy Commission, U.S. DOE, CalRecycle, State of California and significant private investment. (Source: Anaergia Inc., PR, 12 Dec., 2018) Contact: Anaergia Inc., Andrew Benedek, CEO, (905) 766-3333 -- Burlington Ontario,,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Anaergia,  Anaerobic Digestion,  Biofuel,  

    Golden State Rooftop Solar Mandate Wins Final Approval (Ind. Report)
    California Rooftop Solar
    Date: 2018-12-10
    Following up on our May 11th coverage, in Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CEC) reports it has given the final approval to the state's 2019 Title 24, Part 6, Building Energy Efficiency Standards requiring all new homes under three stories high install solar panels starting January 1, 2020. The solar solar systems must be sized to net out the annual kilowatt-hour energy usage of the dwelling.

    The codes also incentivize "demand responsive technologies" including battery storage and heat pump water heaters. Combined with a host of other energy efficiency upgrades, the revised building codes are expected to slash energy use in new homes by more than 50 pct. (Source: Calif. Energy Commission, 5 Dec., 2018) Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Rooftop Solar,  Solar,  

    Itron, AES Consulting Partner on CA. Smart Home Study (Ind. Report
    Itron,California Energy Commission
    Date: 2018-11-21
    Energy management specialist Itron reports it is partnering with Carlsbad, California-based Alternative Energy Systems (AES)Consulting and other companies to help some 100 Southern California consumers better control distributed energy resources (DERs). Itron was selected by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to provide its load management technology for the Smart Home Study aimed at minimizing consumer energy costs and reducing the negative impacts of distributed resources on the main grid.

    Itron's IntelliSOURCE Enterprise Distributed Energy Resource Management System allows both consumer and utilities to communicate with and control solar panels, thermostats, load control switches, water heaters and others DERs. (Source: Itron, PR, Smart Energy, 19 Nov., 2018) Contact: Itron, Steve Hambric, VP Distributed Energy,; Alternative Energy Systems Consulting, (760)931-2641,; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Itron,  California Energy Commission,  Energy Efficiency,  Energy Management,  

    Biogas Hydrogen Fuel Station Funded in California (Ind. Report)
    California Energy Commission
    Date: 2018-11-09
    In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission reports approval of $8 million in grant funding for the development of a high-capacity hydrogen fueling station at the Port of Long Beach.

    The facility would service and promote the expansion of zero-emission fuel cell electric Class 8 drayage trucks used at the port facility. The station will source its hydrogen "from 100 percent renewable biogas," the Commission release notes. (Source: California Energy Commission, Nov., 2018)Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biogas,  California Energy Commission,  Alternative Fuel,  Hydrogen ,  

    Golden State Moves Closer to Mandatory Home Solar (Reg & Leg)
    California Energy Commission
    Date: 2018-05-11
    Further to our April 4th coverage, the California Energy Commission (CEC) on Wednesday, May 9 voted unanimously to adopt new energy building standards requiring solar panels for virtually all new homes, apartment buildings and condos built in the state, starting in 2020.

    Solar is presently included on just 15 to 20 pct of new single-family homes but is, with this legislation, expected to jump to more than 20,000 newly built solar homes in 2020, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    The proposed solar energy standards are subject to California Building Standards Commission approval, which is anticipated in 2019 for implementation in 2020. (Source: California Energy Commission, Times-Standard, 9 May, 2018)Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Solar,  Rooftop Solar,  

    California Ready to Mandate New Home Solar Installation (Ind. Report)
    California Energy Commission
    Date: 2018-05-04
    In Sacramento, the The California Energy Commission (CEC) is scheduled to vote Wednesday, May 9, on new energy standards mandating most new homes have solar panels starting in 2020. If approved as expected, the Golden state would be the nation’s first state to mandate solar energy.

    The proposed new rules would deviate slightly from another much-heralded objective -- Requiring all new homes be "net-zero" meaning they would produce enough solar power to offset all electricity and natural gas consumed over the course of a year. Among the highlights:

  • The new solar mandate would apply to all houses, condos and apartment buildings up to three stories tall that obtain building permits after Jan. 1, 2020;

  • Exceptions or alternatives will be allowed when homes are shaded by trees or buildings or when the home's roofs are too small to accommodate solar panels;

  • Solar arrays can be smaller because homes won't have to achieve true net-zero status;

  • Builders installing batteries like the Tesla Powerwall would qualify for "compliance credits" allowing them to further reduce the size of the solar system;

  • Provisions will encourage more electric use or even all-electric homes to reduce natural gas consumption.

    The mandate dates back to 2007 when the California Energy Commission adopted the goal of making homebuilding so efficient the "newly constructed buildings can be net zero energy by 2020 for residences and by 2030 for commercial buildings." (Source: California Energy Commission, Orange County Register, 4 May, 2018) Contact: California Energy Commission

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Net-Zero,  Solar,  California Energy Commission,  

  • Crimson Renewable Energy, First Element Fuel Score CEC Funds (Funding)
    Crimson Renewable Energy,California Energy Commission
    Date: 2018-01-19
    The California Energy Commission (CEC) reports it has approved $4.4 million in grant funding to Bakersfield-based Crimson Renewable Energy LP to design and operate an advanced commercial-scale biorefinery that converts restaurant trap grease, inedible animal fats, and other low-value feedstocks into biodiesel fuel. The grant is funded through ARFVTP which invests in advanced alternative and renewable fuels and vehicle technologies.

    The CEC also awarded Newport Beach-based First Element Fuel almost $8 million in Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) grants to construct hydrogen fueling stations in Redwood City, Studio City, Beverly Hills, and Mission Hills. (Source: California Energy Commission, Green Car Congress, Others, 18 Jan., 2018) Contact: First Element Fuel, (949) 205-5553,; Crimson Renewable Energy, (661) 617-8600,; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Alternative Fuel,  Hydrogen,  

    SoCalGas Establishing, Funding Advanced Energy Community (Ind. Report)
    SoCalGas,University of California-Irvine
    Date: 2017-12-18
    In the Golden State, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) reports it is partnering with the University of California-Irvine's Advanced Power & Energy Program to design an Advanced Energy Community in an under-served neighborhood in Huntington Beach.

    The community will be planned as a replicable model that optimizes a variety of energy options, including solar, wind and renewable natural gas. It will also consider the capability of storing wind- and solar-generated energy with power-to-gas technology.

    SoCalGas is providing $150,000 in co-funding for the Huntington Beach project, which was proposed in response to a California Energy Commission Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) solicitation. The EPIC program funds clean energy research and demonstration and deployment projects that support the state' energy policy goals and promote greater electricity reliability, lower costs and increased safety. (Source: SoCalGas, PR, 13 Dec., 2017)SoCalGas, Jeff Reed, Director Business Strategy and Advanced Technology,; University of California-Irvine,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News University of California-Irvine,  SoCalGas,  Wind,  Solar,  Renewable Energy,  

    Willdan Funded to Research Bundle-Based Energy Efficiency (Funding)
    Willdan,California Energy Commission
    Date: 2017-12-15
    Anaheim, California-headquartered energy efficiency and technical services specialist Willdan Group Inc. reports it has received California Energy Commission (CEC) grant funding to demonstrate emerging energy efficiency technologies through the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC). These technologies will be demonstrated at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) headquarters facility in Diamond Bar, California for the purposes of testing for scalability in the larger California commercial market.

    The Bundle-Based Energy Efficiency Technology Solutions for California (BEETS) is a 42 month project that upon completion will improve energy efficiency at the SCAQMD facility by over 20 pct. The project has $4 million in CEC EPIC funding and $2.3 million in matching funding, for a total project budget of $6.3 million, along with several subcontractor donations of time and equipment.

    As part of the BEETS project, Willdan developed three bundles of pre-commercial technologies for the following spaces: laboratory and critical environments, office and exterior spaces, and chilled water plants. Technologies will include chillers using a new refrigerant that does not deplete the ozone layer; LED fixtures with integrated, advanced controls; an advanced building management system; direct current lighting systems; advanced ventilation and laboratory fume hood exhaust systems; wirelessly integrated plug load controls; and a platform capable of demand response. (Source: Willdan PR, 15 Dec., 2017)Contact: Willdan Group Inc., Tom Brisbin, Pres., CEO, Stacy McLaughlin, CFO, (720) 940-6300,,; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Willdan,  California Energy Commission,  Energy Efficiency,  

    CEC Supports California Energy Efficiency Initiatives (Ind. Report)
    California Energy Commission
    Date: 2017-12-15
    In Sacramento, the California Energy Commission (CRC) reports it has created a new advisory group that will consist of members representing disadvantaged communities who will provide advice on proposed clean energy, energy efficiency and pollution reduction programs.

    The CEC also approved a nearly $2 million low-interest loan to the City of Clovis to convert interior and exterior lighting at city buildings to energy efficient LED lights that are expected to save the city more than $125,000 per year in electric utility costs. Funds for the projects came from the Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Act program, which provides low- and no- interest loans and technical support for energy efficiency projects.

    Additionally, the CEC approved the adoption of building energy efficiency standards for the City of Davis that require single-family homes to be 30 pct more energy efficient than state standards. It also requires multi-family homes to be 25 pct more energy efficient than the state standards. The city will require a combination of efficiency measures and installation of solar panels.

    With these actions, the CEC has approved 14 local ordinances that provide greater energy savings than the current state building energy efficiency standards. (Source: California Energy Commission, PR, 13 Dec., 2017)Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Energy Efficiency ,  

    PARC Secures CalSEED Energy Storage Awards (Funding, R&D)
    PARC,California Clean Energy Fund
    Date: 2017-12-13
    Palo Alto, California-based PARC, a Xerox company, is reporting receipt of two grant awards from the California Energy Commission's California Clean Energy Fund (CalSEED) program to develop a desalination battery for simultaneous desalination and electrical load-shifting, and a membrane-based electro-chemical CO2 removal system for HVAC energy savings.

    The desalination battery combines the ability to desalinate highly saline waters with the ability to store electrical energy. The battery produces desalinated water during discharge without the need for high pressure or expensive maintenance; reduced pretreatment requirements; and the ability to realize high water recovery ratios and enables high renewables penetration on the grid.

    PARC is developing the Membrane-based Electrochemical CO2 Removal System as a retrofit to existing HVAC systems. The PARC system reduces the need for thermal and humidity conditioning of building air by removing CO2 directly without increasing energy consumption.

    PARC is also working on a variety of initiatives ranging from energy storage and efficiency to renewable energy, and others. (Source: PARC, PR, 11 Dec., 2017) Contact: PARC, Jessy Rivest, Energy Materials & Systems Hardware Systems Laboratory , (650) 812-4000,; California Clean Energy Fund, (415) 957-0167,; California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Energy Commission,  Energy Storage,  California Clean Energy Fund,  

    Biodico Touts Community Design Technology (New Prod & Tech)
    Date: 2017-11-10
    Ventura, California-based renewable energy company Biodico is touting its internet-based Master Community Design technology that enables farms and communities in California's Central Valley identify on-site renewable sources of clean energy and then create a plan to convert those resources into electricity and liquid biofuels.

    Biodico's Zero Net Energy Farm (ZNEF) is partially funded by the California Energy Commission and is the world's first fully sustainable liquid biofuel facility to help address energy needs and climate goals in California's Central Valley.

    Privately held Biodico builds, owns and operates sustainable biofuel and renewable energy facilities; conducts R&D with the U.S. Navy; and collaborates with strategic joint venture partners to patent and commercialize proprietary technologies for the sustainable multi-feedstock modular production of next-generation biofuels. (Source: Biodico, Inc., PR, 7 Nov., 2017) Contact: Biodico, Trey Teall, VP Operations, (805) 683-8103,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biodico,  

    Solar Wind Energy Tower Pre-Certified for Ariz. Project (Ind. Report)
    Solar Wind Energy Tower
    Date: 2017-10-06
    Annapolis, Maryland-headquartered Wind Energy Tower, Inc., developer of the patented Solar Wind Downdraft Tower, reports the California Energy Commission has reviewed and approved its application for the planned 1750 MW San Luis Energy Tower submitted on behalf of Arizona Green Power LLC.

    The planned facility, which is expected to begin commercial operations by December 31, 2021, is estimated to 5,000,000 MWh per year. (Source: Solar Wind Energy Tower, PR, 5 Oct., 2017) Contact: Solar Wind Energy Tower, Inc. (410) 972-4713,,; Arizona Green Power,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar Wind Energy Tower,  

    PG&E Rebates Boost Napa Schools Energy Efficiency (Ind. Report)
    Pacific Gas & Electric,Napa Valley Unified School District
    Date: 2017-09-29
    In the Golden State, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) reports that since 2016 it has paid over $39 million in rebates to 385 elementary and secondary school districts that have saved an estimated $45 million in energy costs annually in Northern and Central California.

    One of those districts is the Napa Valley Unified School District, which includes Napa, American Canyon and Yountville. Since 2012, PG&E and the Napa County Energy Watch teamed up on several energy efficiency projects projects at schools throughout the district including the installation of: LED lighting, fan motors for walk-in coolers, water heaters and boilers, power saving software, wireless thermostats on portable buildings, variable speed drives on pool pumps, and others that have saved more than 95,000 kWh and nearly 800 therms of gas.

    California schools spend $700 million on energy annually, according to the California Energy Commission. (Source: PG&E, Currents, 26 Sept., 2017) Contact: PG&E,; Napa Valley Unified School District, Brian Bacinett, Energy and Environmental Compliance Specialist, (707) 253-3715,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Gas & Electric,  PGE,  PG&E,  Energy Efficiency,  Efficiency Rebates,  

    CEC Commits $5Mn to Dead Woody-Biomass to Fuel Project (Funding)
    California EnergyCommission
    Date: 2017-09-15
    The California Energy Commission (CEC) reports it has approved $5 million in grant funding to support Shasta County's Fall River Resource Conservation District's development and operation of a biomass facility in the Burney-Hat Creek area.

    The Shasta County biomass facility would be one of the state's first to turn dead trees from the state's recent drought periods into combustible gas. (Source: California Energy Commission, AP, KRCR, 13 Sept., 2017) Contact: California Energy Commission, (916) 465-4500,; Fall River Resource Conservation District (530) 336-6591,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  California Energy Commission,  

    Pomona College Committed to Carbon Neutrality by 2030 (Ind. Report)
    Pomona College
    Date: 2017-09-11
    In the Golden State, Pomona College in Claremont reports it has committed to "CN 2030" -- carbon neutrality, without purchasing carbon credits, by the year 2030. To that end, the college must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero then offset an equivalent amount of any remaining emissions by retrofitting buildings, installing solar panels, investing in off-site renewables and promoting alternative transportation programs.

    Previously this year, the school received $2.5 million in California Energy Commission grant funding which will enable it to precisely monitor, control and adjust energy use in key buildings and lead to an expected 20 pct saving in energy consumption. The three-year project will enhance existing energy management systems for 10 buildings on campus and will provide for additional occupancy sensors and automated controls as well as optimization of air circulation, lights and thermostats. Since 2010,the College has implemented programs that include real-time metering for electricity, gas and water on all major buildings and education and social marketing programs to help address climate change and promote sustainable behavior. (Source: Pomona College, Inland Empire, 7 Sept., 2017) Contact: Pomona College, (909) 621-8000,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Neutrality,  Carbon Neutral,  Carbon Emissions,  

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