Funding: Total: $40,834,000. Maximum awards: $1M-$3M, depending on project.
Dates: Pre-Application Workshop: April 25, 2022 at 1PM. Deadline for Written Questions: April 29, 2022. Deadline to Submit Full Applications: July 28, 2022 for Round 1. Anticipated Application Period for Round 2: January 26 – July 27, 2023.
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.
Project Topic Areas:
This solicitation will provide funding to help clean energy start-up companies reach a Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 8. Companies with established production lines for their proposed emerging technology are not eligible for this solicitation.
Projects must fall within one of the following eligible technology categories shown below. 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.
|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
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. Match funding is required in the amount of at least 50% of the requested project funds.
Funds from this solicitation are for activities and equipment that directly support production scale-up of the technology from one-off prototypes to the LRIP stage. This includes but is not limited to subcontractor expenses and purchasing equipment. Awarded funds cannot be used for actual production of the technology except to validate the production process. Any direct manufacturing activities or any pilot production lines that are established as a result of activities funded under this solicitation must be located in California.
This solicitation will include two application rounds. Applicants that submit a proposal for the first application round and are not awarded may reapply to the second application round. Applicants that receive an award in the first application round are allowed to submit a proposal for the second application round, provided that their second round application is for a distinct project (i.e., no overlap with respect to the tasks described in the first round proposal’s Scope of Work). 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).
Projects must fall within the “market facilitation” stage, which includes activities such as program tracking, market research, education and outreach, regulatory assistance and streamlining, and workforce development to support clean energy technology and strategy deployment. California Public Resources Code Section 25711.5(a) requires EPIC-funded projects to: Benefit electricity ratepayers; and Lead to technological advancement and breakthroughs to overcome the barriers that prevent the achievement of the state’s statutory energy goals. To maximize the impact of EPIC projects and to promote the further development and deployment of EPIC-funded technologies, a minimum of 5 percent of CEC funds requested should go towards knowledge transfer activities.
This solicitation requires the prime applicant to be a for-profit commercial entity or individual with the rights to commercialize the intellectual property being advanced under the proposed project. The following entities are not eligible to be prime applicants for projects under this solicitation: Local publicly owned electric utilities, Public and private universities, National Labs, Utilities, Private non-profit research organizations, and End-use customers of the proposed technology. This solicitation is open to all entities with the exception of local publicly owned electric utilities and entities identified above. In accordance with CPUC Decision 12-05-037, funds administered by the CEC may not be used for any purposes associated with local publicly owned electric utility activities.