In the United States (US), the California Energy Commission (CEC) has recently approved nearly US$11 million in support for clean energy demonstration projects, including biofuels, renewable natural gas (RNG), and microgrids.
On May 15, 2019, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a US$2 million grant to Technology & Investment Solutions to demonstrate a more sustainable and cost-effective process of creating biomethane from food waste at an existing anaerobic digester (AD) in El Mirage. The fuel produced is expected to power a local fleet of waste haulage trucks.
The project was funded by the CEC’s Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program, which supports clean transportation innovation.
The CEC also awarded a US$2 million grant to West Biofuels and nearly US$2 million to Taylor Energy for projects demonstrating innovative technologies to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) using wood waste from trees killed by the state’s bark beetle infestation and drought.
Both of these projects were funded by the CEC’s Natural Gas Research Program, which invests in technologies and solutions that help the natural gas sector support California’s energy and environmental goals.
The CEC also approved a nearly US$5 million grant to Zero Net Energy Alliance to demonstrate advanced microgrids at schools and residential areas in the City of Lancaster. The project’s distributed energy resources will be integrated and managed by a virtual power plant that optimizes cost savings, revenue generation, and grid resilience.
The project hopes to serve as a model for the affordable and feasible deployment of solar photovoltaic generation and battery storage technologies in communities throughout the state. The Electric Program Investment Charge Program, which supports clean energy research, is funding the project.
Finally, the City of San Luis Obispo also received a US$3 million, 1 percent Energy Conservation Assistance Act Program loan for solar energy and hydroelectric generation system at the city’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The project is expected to produce annual energy savings of more than US$265 000.