States – California

California Resources

The Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (AB 118)

Alternative and Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program
Fuels & Transportation Division
California Energy Commission
Phone: 916-654-4634
E-mail: AB118@energy.state.ca.us

Purpose of Initiative

Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). The statute, subsequently amended by Assembly Bill 109 (Núñez, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2008), and Assembly Bill 8 (Perea, Chapter 401, Statutes of 2013) authorizes the Energy Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help attain the state’s climate change policies. The Energy Commission has an annual program budget of approximately $100 million to support projects that:

  • Develop and improve alternative and renewable low-carbon fuels.
  • Optimize alternative and renewable fuels for existing and developing engine technologies.
  • Produce alternative and renewable low-carbon fuels in California.
  • Decrease, on a full fuel cycle basis, the overall impact and carbon footprint of alternative and renewable fuels and increase sustainability.
  • Expand fuel infrastructure, fueling stations, and equipment.
  • Improve light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle technologies.
  • Retrofit medium- and heavy-duty on-road vehicle fleets.
  • Expand infrastructure connected with existing fleets, public transit, and transportation corridors.
  • Establish workforce training programs, conduct public education and promotion, and create technology centers.

Eligibility

Eligible recipients include: public agencies, private businesses, public-private partnerships, vehicle and technology consortia, workforce training partnerships and collaboratives, fleet owners, consumers, recreational boaters, and academic institutions.

Application Process

Visit the Solicitations for Transportation Area Programs page to determine the solicitation and application process for each category.

Award Details

The statute allows the Energy Commission to use grants, loans, loan guarantees, revolving loans, and other appropriate measures.  Award amounts vary depending on how much funding is available for each category and how many projects are awarded.

Electric Program Investment Charge

Erik Stokes
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-51
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-5283
E-mail: Erik.Stokes@energy.ca.gov

Lorraine Gonzalez
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-51
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-5295
Email: Lorraine.Gonzalez@energy.ca.gov

Purpose of Initiative

Created by the California Public Utilities, the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) provides funding through a competitive grant solicitation process for applied research and development, technology demonstration and deployment, and market facilitation for clean energy technologies and approaches that support California’s energy policy goals and promote greater electricity reliability, lower costs, and increased safety for the benefit of ratepayers of the following investor owned utilities (IOUs): Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

Eligibility

Individuals, as well as public and private entities, are generally eligible to apply for EPIC funding. Specific eligibility requirements, as well as specific types of projects eligible for funding, will be listed in the individual solicitation materials. Eligible projects must have the potential to benefit California IOU ratepayers by providing greater reliability, lower costs, and/or increased safety; and must fall into one of the following categories: Applied Research and Development, Technology Demonstration and Deployment, or Market Facilitation.

Application Process

Open solicitations and solicitation materials are posted on the Energy Commission’s Funding website. Generally, a pre-application workshop will be held approximately 2 weeks after a solicitation is released, which provides additional solicitation-specific details, and an opportunity for applicants to ask questions and network with other participants interested in teaming up for a project. The hard copy of the application and any required copies must be sealed and delivered to the Energy Commission’s Contracts, Grants, and Loans Office by the due date and time listed in the solicitation. Applications are due approximately 6-8 weeks after the release of the solicitation. Applications are reviewed, scored, and ranked. Those with the top scores will be recommended for a proposed award based on available solicitation funding.

See Funding Opportunities for the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program for more details.

Award Details

EPIC funds will provide approximately $162 million annually from 2012‐2020 to primarily address policy and funding gaps related to the development, deployment, and commercialization of next generation clean energy technologies. Of this amount, the California Energy Commission administers approximately $130 million per year. Award amounts vary based on available solicitation funding, and may require matching funds.

Natural Gas Research & Development Program

Linda Spiegel
California Energy Commission
Public Interest Natural Gas Research Program
1516 Ninth Street, MS-43
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-327-1472
Email: Linda.Spiegel@energy.ca.gov

Purpose of Initiative

The Natural Gas Research, Development and Demonstration program invests in clean energy technology projects that promote greater natural gas reliability, lower costs, and increased safety for the benefit of ratepayers of natural gas investor owned utilities (IOUs): Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Gas Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

Eligibility

Generally, individuals, as well as public and private entities are eligible to apply for Natural Gas R&D funding. Specific eligibility requirements will be listed in individual solicitation materials.

Funded projects must lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome the barriers that prevent the achievement of the state’s statutory energy goals. Research projects must demonstrate the potential to benefit California natural gas ratepayers, resulting in reduced natural gas use, without an increase in air emissions.

Specific types of projects eligible for funding, will be listed in the individual solicitation materials.

Application Process

Open solicitations and solicitation materials are posted on the Energy Commission’s Funding website. Generally, a pre-application workshop will be held approximately 2 weeks after a solicitation is released, which provides additional solicitation-specific details, and an opportunity for applicants to ask questions and network with other participants interested in teaming up for a project.

Applications are due approximately 6-8 weeks after the release of the solicitation. Applications are reviewed, scored, and ranked. Those with the top scores will be recommended for a proposed award based on available solicitation funding.

Method(s) of application submission will be identified in the solicitation. Information on active and anticipated solicitations can be found here.

Award Details

Proposed research funding for fiscal year 2016-17 was $24 million. Award amounts vary per solicitation, dependent on available funds, and may require matching funds

Geothermal Grant and Loan Program

Payam Narvand
Renewable Energy Division
California Energy Commission
Phone: (916) 654-4017
Email: Payam.Narvand@energy.ca.gov

Purpose of Initiative

The mission of the Geothermal Grant and Loan Program (commonly known as the GRDA Program) is to promote the research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of California’s enormous earth heat energy sources. Funds are available to the program to promote the development of new or existing geothermal resources and technologies.

Eligibility

Eligible private entities and local jurisdictions can qualify for financial assistance for a wide variety of geothermal-related projects, including geothermal technology research; resource assessment, exploration and development; local and regional planning; and impact mitigation projects.

Application Process

The GRDA Program makes awards (grants or loans) through competitive solicitations called Program Opportunity Notices posted on the Energy Commission’s website. Interested entities must submit an application. Applications are evaluated and scored by Energy Commission staff, and recommended for funding based on application scores. Visit the Solicitations for Geothermal Energy Programs – Geothermal Resource Development Account (GRDA) page for more information.

Award Details

The funding source is revenue paid to the U.S. government by geothermal developers from production on federal leases in California. Thirty percent of the State’s GRDA funds are available to the program to promote the development of new or existing geothermal resources and technologies.

Life Science Angels

1230 Bordeux Drive
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Phone: 408 541 1152
http://lifescienceangels.com/contact/

Purpose of Initiative

Life Science Angels, Inc. (LSA) is a non-profit organization serving the early stage eco-system for healthcare and life sciences. LSA is an angel investment group focused solely on healthcare investing, specifically, medical devices, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and digital health. LSA was established by senior life science executives and experienced angel investors to meet the need for seed and early stage funding for life science companies that is often not available from venture capitalists or individual investors.

Eligibility

Life Science Angels prefer to invest in companies which solve an important need in healthcare, and have demonstrated proof of concept, strong IP positions/ barriers to competitors, and/or direct evidence from current or prospective customers of market demand.

Criteria

  • Company Focus in Life Science (for Bio & Genomics: biotech, pharmaceuticals, diagnostic agents, cell tech, genomics, sequencing, etc.; for Devices & Diagnostics: med tech, diagnostics, med devices; for Digital Health: IT applied to healthcare, healthcare delivery, and other healthcare and life science applications)
  • Stage: Post-POC to Clinical. Concept-only considered.
  • Investment: Up to $2M raise and $5-10M total to potential exit; pre-money less than $5M

Application Process

Applications need to be submitted online. Companies that pass initial review are invited to present in person at a screening committee meeting. Companies that pass to the next round, are invited to present to a larger body of LSA members at a special dinner, followed by a due diligence luncheon where LSA members can go deeper into questions/answers. If there is sufficient member interest, LSA will proceed with financing, syndication, and growth with the company. Typically, two new companies present at each of the 5 dinner meetings per year.

Award Details

Annually, LSA funds 4 – 6 new deals and 10 – 12 follow on investments in portfolio companies. Direct investments are typically $250k-$750k, with syndicated financings ranging $1.5M-$6M.

Band of Angels

Band of Angels
750 Battery St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
(650) 695-0400

Purpose of Initiative

The Band of Angels is a Silicon Valley seed funding organization, which assists young startup companies primarily located in Northern California. The Band invests in high technology companies, such as in aeroastro, agtech, blockchain, digital disruption, energy, life sciences/medtech, IoT, software, semiconductors, and wearables. The Band is often the first seed money the company receives.

Eligibility

The Band is primarily focused on seed stage high technology and life science companies with strong teams, proprietary technology, and big markets. Preference is to invest in startups located in Northern California so that they can remain active with their portfolio throughout the early stages of development.

Application Process

Submitted plans are reviewed by a prescreen committee monthly, six of which are selected for an invitation to the Deal Screening Committee. The Deal Screening Committee then selects three companies, and one runner up, for presentation to the full Band of Angels at the monthly dinner meeting held the last Wednesday of each month.

Application information can be found here.

Award Details

The Band invests in the range of $300k to $750k, but often leads a syndication of $1-1.5M. The largest investment the Band ever made was $3.3M. Valuation depends on many things, however, few companies successfully raise financing from the Band at valuations over $10M.

Tech Coast Angels

Purpose of Initiative

Tech Coast Angels (TCA), an angel investor group, invests in innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Southern California. TCA identifies, mentors and funds early stage companies to help get their ideas to market, and where TCA members devote their time, expertise and capital to help companies grow and succeed.

TCA consists of five regional networks (or chapters) in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Central Coast, and the Inland Empire. Each network holds screening sessions, normally semi-monthly, where “pre-screened” entrepreneurs present their company and investment opportunity to the TCA membership.

Eligibility

Eligible are innovative companies and entrepreneurs based in Southern California that match TCA’s early stage and industry focus, and are seeking to raise from between $50,000 and $1,000,000. Industries of focus include: green tech, medical devices, bio tech, software/internet, consumer products, and other technologies.

The following lists TCA’s Investment Criteria:

  1. Usually located in Southern California
  2. Resourceful management team with impeccable integrity
  3. Solution to a compelling business problem
  4. Large identified market opportunity
  5. Defensible business model / proprietary technology
  6. Sustainable competitive advantage
  7. Some level of market validation
  8. Ability to attract future funding
  9. Credible exit potential

Application Process

Applications need to be submitted online with a company overview, including a summary of company financials. An investor PowerPoint presentation must also be uploaded. TCA staff and industry-specific investor panels perform an initial screening of the application to ensure it is within the scope of interest. Companies that pass the initial review stage, will be invited to give a pre-screening presentation to a small group of TCA members who have domain expertise in the technology. Typically three to four companies present at a bi-monthly screening sessions. This consists of fifteen minutes of PowerPoint presentation and fifteen minutes of questions and answers. Due diligence is conducted next by a “deal lead”. If the results are positive, the venture moves forward to present at a monthly lunch or dinner meeting, depending on the network to garner interest.

Award Details

Funding occurs after there has been enough interest generated. TCA typically funds between ten and twenty new ventures per year, although it varies. Members invest in deals individually, with the typical minimum individual TCA member’s investment amount of $25,000. TCA investments often bridge the gap between proof of concept to a larger VC round. A company must be able to demonstrate how it will use members’ investment to complete at least some of the following:

  • Proof of Concept
  • Prototype of its product or technology
  • Patent filing (for broad patent)
  • Product development
  • Market research
  • Product launch
  • Major contract or customers
  • Management team
  • Reduce other investment risks

Updated: March 2018, Diane Meade

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