The California Solar Initiative's RD&D Program has now concluded after operating since 2008 through 2016. All solicitations and research projects are now complete.



 Program overview + Research briefs       

 [25 MB ]
 Program overview  [13 MB ]

 Research briefs  (high resolution)                     

 [44 MB ]

For more information on the research projects and resulting reports please review the section below. All completed final reports are also available separately for review and download. 

FINAL REPORTS for completed projects along with individual research briefs can be found here.


CSI RD&D Program - Program Evaluation 



 Report Summary       

 [277 KB ]
 Final Report  [3 MB ]


 [4 MB ]


Funded Projects

This is a database of projects funded by the CSI RD&D. The project summaries are listed alphabetically below. You may also choose a subset of projects by clicking a keyword, or using the search function.

Solar Energy & Economic Development Fund (SEED Fund)

Current Highlights:
  • Final project report [PDF] (9 MB)

  • Final project webinar slide deck [PDF]

  • Final project webinar recording [wmv]

Project Information

Solicitation: Solicitation 3
Target Area: Innovative Business Model
Awardee: Strategic Energy Innovations, Inc.

Optony, Inc.

CSI Funding: $300,000
Match Funding: $341,150
Start Date: May 2012
End Date: August 2014
Status: Complete

Contact Information

Principal Investigator Name: Stephen Miller
Principal Investigator Email: stephen @ seiinc.org
Principal Investigator Phone: 415-507-1433
Grant Manager Name: Smita Gupta
Grant Manager Email: smita.gupta @ itron.com
Grant Manager Phone: 509-891 3189

Project Summary

Strategic Energy Innovations and Optony used the SEED Project (Solar Energy & Economic Development Fund) to demonstrate an innovative solar procurement business model that utilizes a public-private revolving fund mechanism to support public entities (municipalities and schools) in adopting solar technologies. Public entities are motivated to adopt photovoltaic (PV) technologies; however, the upfront costs and lack of technical capabilities serve as barriers to adoption. The SEED Project demonstrated that a 1-2% upfront investment in collaboration results in a 10-12% project cost savings, lower project risks with higher returns, reduced transaction costs and reduced administrative efforts. In addition to the revolving fund mechanism, the SEED team provided expert technical support. The project procurement activities involved 15 public partners with up to 100 potential sites resulting in a minimum of 5 MW of solar contracts. The revolving fund will be replenished through a modest fee on projects moving forward and this fund will then be available for additional rounds of collaborative procurement.

Deliverables and Documents


  • Final Report: Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Fund (SEED Fund™). Strategic Energy Innovations. July 2015. PDF (9 MB)


  • Initial Project Presentation: Solar Energy & Economic Development Fund. Scheuer, Kif. Strategic Energy Innovations. Aug 9, 2012. PDF
  • Final project webinar slide deck [PDF]
  • Final project webinar recording [wmv]

Project Activities

May 2012  Project started
March 2013

City of San Rafael is signed on as lead agency for about 5 MW of solar procurement for about 12 entities.


Project Links