Sacramento, California - The California Energy Commission approved more than $5 million in grants to promote efficient use of natural gas, reduce emissions from natural gas-burning cooking systems, and improve indoor environmental air quality during its monthly business meeting today. The Energy Commission also approved $8 million in grants to advance biofuels as a low-carbon transportation fuels.

Grant recipients include:

Natural Gas

Fisher-Nickel, Inc.: More than $900,000 to demonstrate a suite of energy-efficient, natural gas-fired cooking appliances for restaurants and commercial applications. The company also received about $900,000 to demonstrate an energy-efficient hot water system for commercial food service.

Institute of Gas Technology: Received about $800,000 to demonstrate a boiler heating system with ultra-low emissions.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Received three grants totaling about $2.4 million to develop a new type of burner that can reduce emissions from commercial and residential cook tops and ovens, develop technology to better control outdoor air ventilation rates in new and existing commercial buildings, and to conduct a field study to determine how 2008 Title 24 building efficiency standards have impacted indoor air quality in new homes with natural gas appliances.

Biofuels

GFP Ethanol: Received $3 million to develop a program that provides an expanded and reliable supply of grain sorghum feedstock for production of low carbon transportation fuel.

AltAir Fuels: Received $5 million to expand production of renewable diesel fuels at its Paramount facility in Los Angeles County. AltAir currently produces 30 million gallons of renewable diesel fuel a year and will expand production to 40 million gallons a year.

Natural gas grants are funded by the Energy Commission's Natural Gas Research and Development Division that invests in technologies and projects that have the potential to improve the delivery and use of natural gas, benefit the environment and lower costs. Biofuel grants are funded by the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) and advance the development of California-based biofuel production facilities. The projects will support the state's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and the Bioenergy Action Plan target of producing 40 percent of all in-state biofuels by 2020. To date, the Energy Commission's ARFVTP has provided more than $125 million to promote in-state biofuel production from low-carbon feedstocks.

Additionally, the Energy Commission approved a water supply amendment to its May 2000 Decision for the High Desert Power Plant, which is an 830 megawatt natural gas-fired generation facility in Victorville. The Energy Commission ordered the High Desert Power Plant owner to secure a temporary backup of limited regional groundwater for addressing the drought impacts on its primary supply from the California State Water Project. The owner must also file a plan for a drought-proof, sustainable water supply by November 1, 2015.

A detailed list of all items before the commission at today's business meeting can be found online.