Research and Development

Research, demonstration, and deployment (RD&D) programs are an essential part of the effort to achieve California’s climate and energy policy goals. As California moves toward a clean energy future, the technologies and practices that keep the state’s electricity and natural gas systems safe, reliable and affordable must be modernized.

Each of the RD&D programs drives investment in new and emerging energy technologies and solutions that provide benefits to Californians. By testing ideas and sharing results publicly, these programs help investors, innovators, and policymakers plan efficiently for California’s clean energy future.

Energy R&D Programs

Electricity System Innovations: Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC)

The Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) supports the development of non-commercialized new and emerging clean energy technologies in California, as well as providing assistance to commercially viable projects. EPIC consists of three program areas:

  1. Applied research and development: Investments in earlier-stage technologies and strategies
  2. Technology demonstration and deployment: Investments at real-world scales to test emerging innovations Market facilitation: Investments in market research, regulatory permitting and streamlining, and workforce development activities ($15 M/year).

EPIC activities must be designed to produce electricity ratepayer benefits.

The Commission oversees the implementation of the EPIC program, which is administered by four program administrators:

  • The California Energy Commission (CEC), which administers 80 percent of the funds;
  • And the three large electric investor-owned utilities (PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E), which administer 20% of the funds.


EPIC Investment Plans from each administrator are submitted for three-year periods. The CPUC approved the first investment plan, for the 2012-2014 cycle, in November 2013. The 2015-2017 Investment Plan was approved in April 2015.

Supercomputing for a Resilient Electric Grid: California Energy Systems for the 21st Century (CES-21)

California Energy Systems for the 21st century (CES-21) is a first-of-its-kind effort to use the power of supercomputing to improve the cybersecurity of our electric system and integrate emerging renewable technologies into the grid. The CPUC and three large electric investor-owned utilities are collaborating with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to improve and expand energy systems to meet 21st century needs.

Safer, Modernized Gas Systems: Public Interest Natural Gas RD&D Program

This program funds the development and deployment of improved natural gas technologies and practices. Established by the CPUC in 2004, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1002, the program is administered by the California Energy Commission’s R&D Division. Each March, the Energy Commission files an annual proposal for the investment of up to $24 million in technologies and strategies to improve California’s natural gas system. The Commission issues a Resolution approving or modifying these proposals.

Greenhouse Gas Research & Reduction Program

Created in November 2014 after the shutdown of one of California’s two remaining nuclear power plants, this program seeks to deploy technologies that reduce greenhouse gases in the Los Angeles Basin. Its focus is on nearer-market solutions that can begin offsetting the increase in carbon emissions that is resulting from the shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The Decision that adopted this program is available online; this program is discussed in Section 7.3.4.

Participate in Proceedings

The Emerging Procurement Strategies Section also coordinates actively with a range of interagency research working groups in the climate, bioenergy, environmental, and other areas.

EPIC

Docket Cards for Rulemakings and Applications by Program Administrator and Investment Plan Cycle:

Current

2018-2020 Investment Plans

Prior

2015-2017 Investment Plans

2012-2014 Investment Plans

EPIC Rulemaking R.11-10-003  

Subscribe to the EPIC Service Lists

CES-21

Recent Updates and Documents

EPIC Evaluation Workshop, September 20, 2017 (Agenda forthcoming)

EPIC Evaluation Final Report (September 8, 2017)

EPIC 3 (2018-2020) Investment Plans Workshop, September 8, 2017

E-4863 Resolution addressing PG&E’s request for approval of six new EPIC projects via Tier 3 Advice Letter AL 5015-E  

E-4677 Resolution approving CES-21 Research Projects (October 2, 2014)

A.14-04-034 - July 31, 2014 Workshop Slides

D.14-03-029 Decision modifying D.12-12-031 to comply with SB 96 (2013)

D.13-11-025 Decision approving the four program administrators' initial triennial EPIC investment plan applications (November 14, 2013)

D.12-05-037 Phase II Decision establishing the EPIC Program (May 24, 2012)

D.11-12-035 Phase I Decision establishing the interim EPIC funding levels (December 15, 2011)

Senate Bill 96 (SEC. 22. Section 25711.5) Legislative Mandates for the EPIC Program


Contacts, Resources, and Links

For more information about the EPIC Program, visit

Contact

David Huang is the CPUC Energy Division lead analyst for these research programs. He can be reached at david.huang@cpuc.ca.gov or 916-327-6784 (M-W) and (415) 703-1268 (Th-F).

To contact the EPIC or CES 21 staff at the CPUC with a question specific to the CPUC, you may also email energy@cpuc.ca.gov or call our hotline at 415-355-5586. To look up any staff member at the CPUC, please see the CPUC Phone list.


Immigration Guide