Zero Net Energy Alliance Wins $5M Microgrid Grant from the California Energy Commission

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The Zero Net Energy Alliance yesterday won approval of a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission to demonstrate advanced microgrids at schools and residential areas in the city of Lancaster.


By chinasong/

The project will create a virtual power plant to save money, generate revenue and enhance grid resilience. A non-profit, the Zero Net Energy Alliance hopes to create models that use solar and battery storage throughout the state.

Funding for the microgrids comes from the Electric Program Investment Charge Program, which supports clean energy research in California

The commission also approved another $6 million for several other kinds of clean energy projects.

That includes a $3 million grant for the City of San Luis Obispo for a solar and hydroelectric system at the city’s water treatment plant. The project is expected to produce annual energy savings of more than $265,000.

Technology & Investment Solutions won $2 million grant to create biomethane to power waste hauling trucks. The biomethane will come from food waste at an existing anaerobic digester in El Mirage.

The commission also awarded a $2 million grant to West Biofuels and nearly $2 million to Taylor Energy to demonstrate how to produce renewable gas using wood waste from trees killed by the state’s bark beetle infestation and drought.

Last, the city of San Luis Obispo received a $3 million loan through the state’s 1 percent Energy Conservation Assistance Act program. The loan will help fund a solar and hydroelectric generation system at the city’s water treatment plant. The project aims to cut energy costs $265,000 annually.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


  1. Richard Perkins says:

    I think this is wonderful news.
    Thanks for sharing the knowledge.