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CEC awards $15M for energy and environmental projects

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The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded more than $15 million for transportation, energy efficiency, and environmental research projects at its monthly business meeting on Wednesday. The recipients included two San Joaquin Valley recipients, the California State University Fresno Foundation and the Sanger Unified School District.

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The awards included more than $6 million for alternative fuel infrastructure and vehicle-to-grid fleets, $5 million to fund environmental research related to improving natural gas efficiency, and $4 million to fund energy efficiency projects in schools.

Funding sources for the monies include the CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP). Over $400 million has been invested in more than 260 alternative fuel, infrastructure, and vehicle technology projects using ARFVTP. The program was re-authorized in 2013 by the California Legislature. Funding for the program comes from surcharges on vehicle & boat registrations, smog check fees, and license plate fees.

The CSU Fresno Foundation was awarded one of ten grants totaling over $3.5 million for the installation of electric vehicle recharging stations. These stations will be installed along highways, workplaces, multi-family residences, and other locations.

The Sanger Unified School District was given a $1.2 million interest free loan to upgrade energy efficiency at three of its schools. The result of these changes will be an annual reduction in utility costs of over $120,000.

"We need cleaner transportation to achieve California's climate and clean air goals," said Commissioner Janea A. Scott, who oversees the Commission's Fuels and Transportation division. "Investments in these technologies and supporting infrastructure play a vital role growing the market for zero-emission vehicles."