Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller says, “These research projects will demonstrate the importance of energy research to power California’s economic recovery, study how we can reduce air pollution, and produce clean energy jobs. By leveraging these grants with an 85-to-1 ratio through federal and private funding, we are investing very wisely in California’s 21st century infrastructure.”
The award recipients are Glendale Water & Power, The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Geysers Power Company, Stone & Webster, UC Riverside, and Terralog Technologies.
Glendale Water & Power will use its $1 million award toward installing a new electric and water advanced metering infrastructure system that includes smart meters with large data storage and two-way communications hardware and software; more than 83,000 electric meters with remotely controllable switches; more than 33,000 water meters with leak detection and tamper-proof information; and a wide area network to allow two-way communications between the utility and each meter in its service territory.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District plans to use its $1 million award to launch a comprehensive regional smart grid reaching the smart meters of its 600,000 customers. SMUD is partnering with the California Department of General Services, California State University, Sacramento, and the Los Rios Community College District to accelerate and expand advanced smart grid technologies throughout the Sacramento area.
The University of California at Riverside was given $680,000 to evaluate and improve measurements of fine particulates from natural gas-fired power plants.
Geysers Power Company received a two-year $410,000 cost-share grant to conduct exploration, reservoir modeling, and re-drilling of an existing abandoned well in the Caldwell Ranch area to confirm what is expected to be a 22 to 45 megawatt geothermal resource.
Stone & Webster will use its $1,053,200 to evaluate the ability to capture carbon dioxide from natural gas combined cycle power plants and estimate the cost and performance effects associated with capturing and storing the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions underground.
Terralog Technologies USA received $500,000 cost-share grant to determine if an area off the Long Beach coast called the Wilmington Graben would be suitable for large-scale carbon dioxide storage.
Created by the California Legislature in 1974, the California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, mandated with five primary responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergency.