Energy Commission awards almost $2 million for new research projects
February 8, 2012
• One targets sustainable communities, the other jobs with the power grid
• ‘Better equip California for the needs of the 21st Century’
The California Energy Commission has awarded $1,983,355 for two research projects, one targeting sustainable communities, while the other focuses on workforce training for smart grid jobs.
"California is investing research dollars into projects that better equip California for the needs of the 21st Century and will help prepare workers for the demands of a changing workforce," says Energy Commission Chairman Robert Weisenmiller.
The University of California at Los Angeles will receive $1.9 million to develop the California Center for Sustainable Communities that would research the potential energy savings from better community design, integrated land use, and transportation practices.
The center would conduct and coordinate research and development activities on sustainable communities, serving as a statewide resource for metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and policy makers. UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability will serve as the lead for the center, which will be a multi-campus effort that includes UC Berkeley and UC Davis.
The center would provide data, models, methods, tools, and case studies to support the creation of more sustainable communities and assist in developing regional land use strategies. Reducing the use of automobiles and trucks and vehicle miles traveled will cut greenhouse gas emissions. Better land use planning and design of community systems would increase the overall energy sustainability of cities.
The Commission also approved $83,355 to California State University, Sacramento, to develop a workforce training and development program for the clean energy jobs needed to support California's smart grid. The funding leverages Sacramento State's $749,992 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The project will identify the smart grid technologies requiring additional workforce training and support. The project will also create a smart grid workforce development model that can be replicated throughout the nation.