CEC Approves $10 million Grants for Alternative Energy Projects

July 08, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved more than $10 million in grants yesterday for four alternative-fuel projects including a zero emission fuel-cell truck to transport shipping containers and battery-electric school buses. The Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) projects, which move California away from its reliance on fossil fuels, include: $2.9 million to CALSTART, Inc. to build and test four 33-foot battery-electric buses in Los Angeles; $2.8 million to Motiv Power Systems, Inc., to build and test large, battery-electric school buses in Reedley, Colton and Los Angeles; $2.6 million to Hydrogenics USA Inc., for an advanced fuel-cell truck to transport containers from ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach along a 150-mile loop to a rail network and $2.1 million for an advanced fuel-cell bus to be tested in the Coachella Valley.

These clean energy, zero-emission projects will be demonstrated in economically distressed areas that may benefit from additional jobs the projects will create. They will be a vital part of the transportation technologies needed to meet California’s air quality, public health and climate change goals.

The Energy Commission also awarded $3.6 million to the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to provide technical support for the state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Action Plan, to assess the benefits of the ARFVTP and to review proposals for hydrogen fueling stations.

The Energy Commission also approved two provisional contracts to administer the Water Energy Technology (WET) program and a statewide water-reducing, energy-saving appliance rebate program. Two contracts totaling $375,000 will provide technical support for the WET program, which will fund innovative technologies that offer significant water and energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions in agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential sectors. The other contract, for up to $20 million, was provisionally granted to the Electric and Gas Industries Association to administer the water appliance rebate program. These contracts are contingent on funding now pending before the state Legislature. The creation of the WET and rebate programs are in direct response to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s April executive order proclaiming a state emergency because of the drought.