The purpose of this solicitation is to provide financial assistance to help clean energy entrepreneurs successfully advance their emerging best-of-class innovative technology to the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) stage. LRIP is the first step in making the transition from highly customized hand-built prototypes, which are used for performance testing and vetting the production process, to the final mass-produced end product produced in the Full-Rate Production phase.
Startups that attempt to scale-up face several hurdles when moving from prototype to production, including a series of new design challenges that impact a host of innovations. Start-up companies typically lack the practical manufacturing experience to successfully move their energy technology innovation to production. Moving a technology into production requires understanding of a wholly different set of considerations than the initial technology development, including material selection, supply-chain management, and assembly steps.
- Release Date: April 14, 2022
- Deadline to Submit Applications: July 28, 2022, 11:59 p.m.
- Deadline for Written Questions: April 29, 2022, 5:00 p.m.
This solicitation is targeting companies with emerging best-of-class innovative technologies that have achieved an established full-scale prototype and are seeking to move from one-off production to a pilot production line. Companies with established production lines for their proposed emerging technology are not eligible for this solicitation.
This solicitation is part of the California Energy Commission’s ongoing strategy to foster and support clean energy entrepreneurship across the state. This solicitation will provide funding to help clean energy start-up companies reach a Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 8.
There is up to $40,834,000 available for grants awarded under this solicitation. The minimum funding amount for each project is $1,000,000. The maximum funding amount is $3,000,000. This solicitation will include two application rounds. Up to $15,834,000 is available for Round 1 applications and up to $25,000,000 is available for Round 2 applications. Round 2 funding is contingent on approval of the CEC’s EPIC 4 Investment Plan by the CPUC and budget authorization by the California State Legislature.
Projects must fall within one of the following eligible technology categories shown in Table 1. Technology examples provided are not meant to be comprehensive. Technologies that fall within an eligible technology category but not explicitly listed as an example are still allowed:
Table 1: List of Eligible Technology Categories and Technology Examples
Eligible Technology Categories
- Solid-state lighting
- High-efficiency motors
- Non-vapor compression cooling and heating
- Advanced materials and coatings for fenestration and building envelopes.
- Photonic computing
- Energy-efficient desalination and wastewater reuse
- Electrochemical production of industrial products
- High-power electric drive systems for medium- and heavy-duty vehicle applications
- Wide Band Gap semiconductor devices for efficient power transfer
- Advanced EV charging technologies (i.e. high-power charging, wireless charging)
- Next-generation electric heat pumps
- Advanced Lithium Batteries
- Non-lithium electrochemical storage using earth-abundant materials
- Thermal storage
- Battery repurposing and recycling technologies
Zero- and Negative Carbon Emissions Electric Generation (Renewable Generation)
- Emerging thin-film solar PV
- Novel mounting systems and structures for PV systems
- Enabling technologies for green hydrogen applications in the power sector
- Offshore wind and wave technology components
- Solid-state energy harvesting
See Part II of this solicitation for project eligibility requirements. Applications will be evaluated as follows: Stage One proposal screening and Stage Two proposal scoring. Each application must only address one of the eligible technology categories identified above. If an applicant submits multiple applications that address the same eligible technology category, each application must be for a distinct project (i.e., no overlap with respect to the tasks described in the Scope of Work).