CSI RD&D

This page lists previous CSI RD&D solicitations and associated documents.

Request for Comments on the Third DRAFT Solicitation

Background and Purpose

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is a statewide incentive program that aims to build a self-sustaining solar electricity market.  The CSI has a goal of creating 1940 MW of new, solar-produced electricity in California by 2017 (and 3,000 MW on a statewide-basis).  The CSI was authorized in 2006 by Senate Bill (SB) 1 (Murray) and subsequently enacted through California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Rulemaking (R.) 06-03-004. Pursuant to SB 1, the CPUC allocated $50 million for a Solar Research, Demonstration, and Deployment (RD&D) Program.  Within the Solar RD&D Program, grant funding is further allocated into three target areas:

  1. Grid integration
  2. Production technologies
  3. Business development and deployment

The CPUC Energy Division, through its Program Manager, Itron, Inc., is making available a draft version of the third Grant Solicitation for the CSI RD&D Program. The purpose of this notice is to seek comments and feedback from interested stakeholders on the draft solicitation document.

This third solicitation will have a main focus on Grid Integration with a second focus area on smaller research projects in the production technologies and business development and deployment areas.

Solicitation Summary

Up to $12 million in funding is available through this solicitation, with $9 million allocated to fund grid integration projects and up to $3 million available to fund smaller projects in the areas of production technologies or/or business development and deployment. Any individual, business, public entity, non-profit institution, university, or national laboratory is eligible to apply for funding. A minimum of 50% match funding is required for each project.
The draft solicitation contains the following sections:
• Introduction
• Priority Areas and Targets for this Solicitation
• Proposal and Submittal Requirements
• Proposal Screening, Review, and Selection Process

Click here to download the DRAFT Third Grant Solicitation document PDF

Submitting Comments

The draft of the third CSI RD&D Grant Solicitation is posted on the CalSolarResearch.ca.gov website and is now available for review and comment.  All comments should be submitted through the website using the online comments form. To submit comments, please go to: http://www.calsolarresearch.ca.gov/submit-your-comments.html

Comments will be accepted from now through June 28, 2011.

Finalizing and Releasing the Solicitation

The CPUC staff will review all comments posted and provide direction to the Program Administrator on changes and modifications.  The solicitation will be finalized and released for possible applications around mid July 2011.

Key Principles of the Solar RD&D Program

SB 1, signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in August 2006 , authorizes the CPUC to allocate $50 million of the CSI funds for research, demonstration, and deployment of solar technologies.  The CPUC adopted the CSI Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Plan  which lays out the seven key principles that the CSI RD&D Program must adhere to:

  1. Improve the economics of solar technologies by reducing technology costs and increasing system performance;
  2. Focus on issues that directly benefit California, and that may not be funded by others;
  3. Fill knowledge gaps to enable successful, wide-scale deployment of solar distributed generation technologies;
  4. Overcome significant barriers to technology adoption;
  5. Take advantage of California's wealth of data from past, current, and future installations to fulfill the above;
  6. Provide bridge funding to help promising solar technologies transition from a pre-commercial state to full commercial viability; and
  7. Support efforts to address the integration of distributed solar power into the grid in order to maximize its value to California ratepayers.


For more information on the CSI RD&D Program, please visit the CPUC's website at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Solar/rdd.htm

For more information on California's Solar Programs administered by the CPUC and the California Energy Commission, please visit the Go Solar Website at: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.com/

Questions on Third Grant Solicitation.

On September 25, 2009, the CPUC Energy Division, through its Program Manager, Itron, Inc., released a draft version of the Second CSI RD&D Grant Solicitation for comments and feedback from interested stakeholders.  This second solicitation will focus on improved PV production technologies and innovative business models.

Comments were due October 12, 2009.  The comments period is now closed.

CPUC staff will review all comments posted and provide direction to the Program Manager on changes and modifications.  The solicitation will be finalized and is due to be released in early November 2009.

Read more: Request for Comments Announcement.

Questions about this grant solicitation were accepted through July 23, 2009.  Responses to the questions can be found here:   questions_and_responses_for_the_csi_rdd_final.pdf