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Advancing and Commercializing Energy Efficiency in California’s Industrial, Agricultural, and Water Sector (2021 ACEE Program)

Grants to California Private and Public Entities for Technological
Advancements that Increase Energy Efficiency

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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California Energy Commission (CEC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/08/21 5:00 PM


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Grants to California private and public entities for technological advancements to increase efficient energy usage. Eligible projects are those that focus on making these improvements in the dairy industry or wastewater treatment plants. The purpose of the funding is to support sustainable energy initiatives and reach statewide decarbonization goals.

The IAW sectors have significant potential for improvements in energy and water efficiency but are difficult sectors to promote energy efficiency and to decarbonize. Each sector and the individual facilities each have unique operational needs, have a mix of old and new equipment, lack easy access to actionable operation data for decision making and lack verified performance data under real-world conditions for promising emerging technologies. 

Projects must fall within one of the following project groups: 

Group 1: Advanced Energy Management and Monitoring of the Dairy Industry

The purpose of this research area is to identify and demonstrate emerging electricity saving technologies that can directly reduce electricity use and GHG and other emissions in the dairy industry (dairy industry in this instance includes industries in the milk and cheese processing lifecycle: dairy farms, production of milk, cheese, and associated products, whey processing, etc.), and perform technology transfer to more broadly share the outcome of the research and enable further adoption by dairies and other industries. The target industries are those in the primary milk and cheese production and processing lifecycle.

The aim is to digitize the dairy and dairy adjacent industries (milk, cheese, and their associated products) through the adoption of advanced sensors, data management, machine learning, and best practices to optimize electric equipment operations. The goal is to make the technology applicable and useable for other dairies and industrial operations beyond those participating as a demonstration site under this solicitation.

Group 2: Advanced Treatment Processes for Wastewater Treatment Plants

The purpose of this research area is to demonstrate at a municipal wastewater treatment facility, that treats more than one million gallons per day, the operation of emerging advanced primary treatment and/or advanced secondary treatment technologies for municipal wastewater.

The goal of this group is to demonstrate (at scale) that advanced primary and secondary treatment can increase energy efficiency and increase overall treatment plant capacity while reducing operational and maintenance costs. Technologies for this group must be at technology readiness level of 5-8 with the expectation to progress up one or more levels by the end of the project. Technologies must have a pathway to commercialization and deployment in California’s municipal wastewater treatment facilities to ensure the benefits of the project will extend beyond the scope and term of the grant agreement.

For more information on these two groups, see page 7 of the ACEE Manual.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 194009

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Group 1: Advanced Energy Management and Monitoring of the Dairy Industry
Available Funding: $9,000,000
Award Amount: $1,500,000 - $6,000,000

Group 2: Advanced Treatment Processes for Wastewater Treatment Plants
Available Funding: $4,000,000
Award Amount: $2,000,000 - $4,000,000

Term of Contract:

Anticipated Agreement Start Date: 06/30/2021
Anticipated Agreement End Date: March 31, 2025

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This solicitation is open to all public and private entities with the exception of local publicly owned electric utilities. 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.

All corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) that conduct intrastate business in California are required to be registered and in good standing with the California Secretary of State prior to its project being recommended for approval at an CEC Business Meeting. If not currently registered with the California Secretary of State, applicants are encouraged to contact the Secretary of State’s Office as soon as possible to avoid potential delays in beginning the proposed project(s) (should the application be successful). For more information, contact the Secretary of State’s Office via its website at Sole proprietors using a fictitious business name must be registered with the appropriate county and provide evidence of registration to the CEC prior to their project being recommended for approval at an CEC Business Meeting.

Applicants may submit multiple applications, though each application must address only one of the project groups identified above. If an applicant submits multiple applications that address the same project group, each application must be for a distinct project (i.e., no overlap with respect to the tasks described in the Scope of Work).

Pre-proposal Conference:

CEC staff will hold one Pre-Application Workshop to discuss the solicitation with potential applicants. Participation is optional but encouraged. The Pre-Application Workshop will be held remotely, consistent with Executive Orders N-25-20 and N-29-20 and the recommendations from the California Department of Public Health to encourage physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Applicants may attend the workshop via the internet (Zoom, see instructions below), or via conference call on the date and at the time listed below. Please call (916) 654-4381 or refer to the CEC's website at to confirm the date and time.

Date and time: January 13th, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Zoom Instructions:
To join the Zoom meeting, go to and enter the Meeting ID below and select “join from your browser.” Participants will then enter the meeting password listed below and their name. Participants will select the “Join” button.:
Meeting ID: 964 9984 4366
Meeting Password: meeting@10
Topic: Pre-Bid Workshop for GFO-20-309

Telephone Access Only:
Call 1-888 475 4499 (Toll Free) or 1-877 853 5257 (Toll Free). When prompted, enter the meeting number above. International callers may select a number from the Zoom International Dial-in Number List at: To comment, dial *9 to “raise your hand” and *6 to mute/unmute your phone line.

If you have a disability and require assistance to participate, please contact Erica Rodriguez at the contact information listed below at least five days in advance.

For more information about the conference, see the following link:

Pre-Application Information:

- Solicitation Release: 12/23/2020
- Pre-Application Workshop: 1/13/2021, 10:00 a.m.
- Deadline for Written Questions : 1/20/2021, 5:00 p.m.
- Anticipated Distribution of Questions and Answers: Week of 2/8/2021
- Deadline to Submit Applications: 03/8/2021, 5:00 p.m.
- Anticipated Notice of Proposed Award Posting Date: Week of 4/5/2021
- Anticipated Energy Commission Business Meeting Date: 06/9/2021
- Anticipated Agreement Start Date: 06/30/2021
- Anticipated Agreement End Date: March 31, 2025

Applicants may ask questions at the Pre-Application Workshop, and may submit written questions via mail, electronic mail, and by fax. However, all technical questions must be received by the deadline listed in the “Key Activities Schedule” above. Questions received after the deadline may be answered at the CEC's discretion. Non-technical questions (e.g., questions concerning application format requirements or attachment instructions) may be submitted to the Commission Agreement Officer (CAO) at any time prior the application deadline. The questions and answers will also be posted on the Commission’s website at:

Match funding is required in the amount of at least 20% of the requested grant funds.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Erica Rodriguez
(916) 654-4314

Natalie Johnson, Commission Agreement Officer
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-18
Sacramento, California, 95814
FAX: (916) 654-4423

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California

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