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EPIC Funding Helps Clean Tech Entrepreneurs Continue Projects

By Media Office Staff

Ten clean energy startups received a boost from the California Energy Commission in June when it awarded more than $22 million to help them advance their projects to the pilot production stage.

The projects were funded through the Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which invests about $130 million annually for innovations and technologies that support the state’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

“The Energy Commission’s EPIC research program invests in a balanced portfolio of projects aligned to critical advancements in energy efficiency, energy generation, and energy systems and makes strides across residential, commercial, and industrial sectors,” said Energy Commission Vice Chair Janea A. Scott. “Research projects like those funded through EPIC support entrepreneurs, launch new businesses and bring new technologies to market—stimulating market activity and affecting change through technology push and market pull.”

The projects, ranging from improved utility-scale battery storage technologies to innovative and efficient lighting systems, promote a cleaner grid through energy conservation and renewable energy production and storage.

Recipients were:

• San Mateo-based Caban Systems received $1.9 million to produce its modular battery platform. hese battery platforms are fire resistant and can be accessed remotely, allowing critical infrastructure such as telecommunications to continue working even after a natural disaster.

• Emeryville-based Cuberg received $1.6 million to create safer batteries for zero-emissions vehicles. The company’s electrolytes create batteries with higher energy densities and decreased risk of thermal runaway conditions.

• San Diego-based General Engineering and Research received $1.1 million to lower the cost and increase the efficiency of magnetic refrigeration. Unlike traditional refrigeration technologies, magnetic refrigeration does not use vapor compression to produce a cooling effect.

• Burlingame-based Glint Photonics received $2 million to scale up production of energy-efficient adjustable lighting products. Its lights allow a lamp’s beam to be adjusted without moving the lamp itself.

• San Mateo-based Halo Industries received $4 million to further develop a process using lasers to cut wafers used in solar panels. The process creates higher-quality wafers at half the cost of traditional ones.

• Hayward-based Primus Power received $4 million to improve production of its long-duration energy storage batteries. Each battery lasts more than 20 years with no degradation and allows for utility-scale electricity storage.

• Oakland-based Sepion Technologies received more than $2.6 million to increase pilot production of special battery membranes that make batteries safer and last longer.

• San Diego-based South 8 Technologies received $1 million to increase production of its liquefied gas electrolyte technology for lithium batteries, which increases battery safety and energy density.

• Berkeley-based Spark Thermionics received $1.3 million to scale-up production of its heat-to-electricity technology. When combined with concentrated solar energy plants, Spark’s thermionic energy converters would increase plant efficiency and lower the cost of electricity.

• San Francisco-based Treau received $2.8 million to further develop a high-efficiency window-mounted air conditioning and heating unit that uses only low global warming potential refrigerants.

Additional details are in the Energy Commission’s June 12 business meeting agenda.

Photo courtesy of Primus Power.

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