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PIER Program Overview National Renewable Energy Laboratory February 2002. Terry Surles, Ph.D California Energy Commission. Vision Statement.

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pier program overview national renewable energy laboratory february 2002

PIER Program OverviewNational Renewable Energy Laboratory February 2002

Terry Surles, Ph.D

California Energy Commission

vision statement
Vision Statement

The future electrical system of California will provide a clean, abundant and affordable supply tailored to the needs of “smart”, efficient customers and will be the best in the nation.

Tailored, clean, abundant, affordable supply

Smart, efficient customers

california has established a 62m yr public interest energy research program pier
California has Established a $62M/yrPublic Interest Energy Research Program (PIER)

California’s Energy Future


Reliable and






Protect and


attributes for addressing state issues
Attributes for Addressing State Issues

Program Integration



- Universities

- Industry

- Federal







Focus on


- Specific to

State needs

cec pier is starting to work effectively with doe eere
CEC/PIER is Starting to Work Effectively with DOE/EERE
  • Office of Building Technology
    • long-term relationship in building systems
    • LBNL is a critical contributor
  • Office of Power Technology
    • reliability work has already produced systems in use by CAL/ISO
    • interactions in geothermal and biomass technology activities
    • new initiatives in distributed energy resources
    • Collaborations in wind turbine technology and BIPV
  • Office of Industrial Technology
    • DAS assisted in getting CEC “Industries of the Future” started
    • co-lead technology fairs have been a hit
pier public benefit objectives
PIER Public Benefit Objectives
  • Improve energy cost/value
  • Improve environment, public health, and safety
  • Improve electricity reliability/quality/sufficiency
  • Strengthen the economy
  • Provide consumer choice
how we got here history of ca energy rd d programs
How We Got Here:History of CA Energy RD&D Programs
  • California has historically been a leader in energy innovations and advancements in science
  • Legislation in the early 1980’s mandated public interest research programs by California’s major investor-owned utilities
  • IOU RD&D programs were regulated by the CPUC and totaled about $120 million/yr. before deregulation in the mid-90’s
  • IOU RD&D programs declined precipitously in the mid-90’s
pier program legislative history
PIER Program Legislative History
  • AB 1890 (September 1996) established a new policy (Public Goods Charge) to support
    • public interest energy research (PIER),
    • renewable market support (CEC), and
    • energy efficiency market support (CPUC)
  • SB 90 (November 1997) created the Public Interest Energy Research Trust Fund
  • AB 995/SB 1194 (September 2000) continued PIER program for another 10 years (through 2011) at $62.5 M/yr.

PIER Projects Related to Major Topics Funding(in millions)

Supply $82

Renewables, EPAG

Demand $50

Buildings, Ind/Ag/Water

System / Environment $47

Strategic, Environmental

pier funding overview mechanisms
PIER Funding Overview:Mechanisms
  • Interagency/Intergovernmental agreements
  • Competitive and Programmatic solicitations
  • Sole-source contracts
  • Collaborative research with DOE, NYSERDA, GTI, EPRI, ASERTTI
our r d program must address future market scenarios
Our R&D Program Must Address FutureMarket Scenarios


Status Quo

  • New energy systems
  • Same players



  • Same energy systems
  • New players

Supermarket of Choices


given our limited budget and california characteristics we re not going to
Given Our Limited Budget and California Characteristics,We’re Not Going to...
  • Build the next GCM or other large scale models
  • Work on Generation IV nuclear technologies
  • Work on most Vision 21 coal technologies
  • Duplicate other efforts well-funded by DOE, EPRI and others
  • Duplicate specific R&D already funded by industry
renewable energy
Renewable Energy
  • Affordability
    • Find new ways to reduce costs or increase efficiency
    • Capable of providing peak power, or supply ancillary services
  • Reliability
    • Demonstrate tools that predict resource availability and system dispatchability
    • Develop hybrid systems that improve reliability and dispatchability
  • Safety and Power Quality
    • Develop standardized interfaces, new control systems and demonstrate new power conversion technologies
  • Environmental Benefits
    • Increase utilization of waste materials in a clean manner
yolo county s bioreactor landfill
Yolo County’s Bioreactor Landfill

Only 51 of California’s 3000 landfills generate electricity from landfill gas. Up until this project, it was too costly to generate electricity from many landfills.

Yolo’s bioreactor approach significantly increases gas generation making landfill electricity generation competitive.

the yolo county success

Control cell without bioreactor

Enhanced bioreactor cell

The Yolo County Success
  • Accomplishments
    • Is opening the way for landfill gas electricity systems to be more widely used in California
      • Accelerates gas production from over 30 years to less than 10 years, making landfill electricity more competitive
      • Reduces volume of landfill which can extend landfill life by 20 percent
      • Significantly reduces the chance for groundwater pollution from leachate release
    • Has become the leading bioreactor project within EPA’s XL Program and will strongly influence landfill regulations across the country
  • CEC’s Role
    • Through the CEC’s R&D programs, we’re bringing bioreactor technology from concept to reality
the wind turbine company
The Wind Turbine Company
  • Design, develop and demonstrate a utility-scale wind turbine
  • Horizontal axis, two-blade, downwind design
  • Prototype developed for PIER and tested at NREL rated at 250 kW
  • Commercial prototype demonstration sited at the Fairmont Reservoir in LADWP territory for a 500 kW - scaled up to 750 kW - wind turbine demonstration to begin in October 2001
  • Goal is to produce electricity  $0.035 cents per kWh per 100 unit wind farms with wind resources  15 mph.
environmentally preferred advanced generation
Environmentally-Preferred Advanced Generation
  • Advanced Turbine Generators
    • Develop ultra-low NOx combustor and other advanced control technologies
    • Targeted microturbine development and demonstration and testing
  • Fuel Cells
    • Targeted fuel cell development
    • Residential-scale fuel cell testing and development
    • Fuel cell performance analysis tools
gas turbine semi radiant burner alzeta corporation
Gas Turbine Semi-Radiant Burner - Alzeta Corporation


  • Gas turbine combustor that allows fuel to be premixed with large quantities of air prior to combustion.


  • Lower NOX emissions without SCR;
  • Cheaper than post-combustion clean-up systems;
  • Allows deployment of smaller turbines for DG; and
  • CEC is receiving royalties from Alzeta
buildings end use efficiency technology development
Buildings End-Use EfficiencyTechnology Development
  • Develop strategies and technologies to:
    • reduce and manage loads;
    • provide both energy efficiency and non-energy benefits; and
    • increase building value through energy efficiency.
  • Reduce overall building energy use by 25% by 2015 in both new and existing buildings
pier buildings program highlights night breeze
PIER Buildings Program HighlightsNight Breeze
  • Provides ventilation and cooling at night, reducing or eliminating the need for air conditioning during the day
industrial agricultural water demand side management technologies
Industrial/Agricultural/Water Demand Side Management Technologies
  • Reduce the energy required for water delivery, application and processing.
  • Improve manufacturing energy efficiency through process management, energy efficient technologies, and waste reduction.
  • Reduce the energy cost of disposing industrial and agricultural waste.
  • Reduce industrial, agricultural and water process energy costs through improved load management and metering technologies.
high performance fume hood
High Performance Fume Hood
  • reduces airflow and energy requirements by 30-50%
  • flow reduction from each hood cuts energy costs by $1000/yr
  • maintains or enhances worker safety
  • ASHRAE standard test achieved containment with 70% flow reduction
  • with 30,000 hoods in state, the new Hood could save about 360 million kWh/yr, totaling nearly $30 million
energy related environmental research and assessment
Energy-Related Environmental Research and Assessment

Environmental Research is needed to:

  • Reduce the air quality, land use, and the biological and water-related impacts of electricity generation, distribution and use in California
  • Understand global climate change
  • Develop a policy, regulatory and legal framework that minimizes the environmental impacts of energy use
climate change adaptation
Climate Change Adaptation


California is unprepared for the likely physical, economic and societal disruptions of climate change

avian mortality
Avian Mortality


Avian electrocutions not only cause a significant number of deaths, but also result in 25% of all power outages equating to a $ 2 billion loss to the CA economy.

Pictured is an electrocuted golden eagle.

integrated electricity systems research
Integrated Electricity Systems Research
  • Reduce system vulnerability to earthquakes and other natural disasters
  • Test and improve distributed resources impact on system reliability
  • Real time pricing and demand-side responsiveness
  • Storage technologies
  • Develop better interconnection strategies, inverters and other system controls and predictive models
  • Power quality enhancements
technical support for dg interconnection standards
Technical Support for DG Interconnection Standards
  • Reduces average cost of interconnection fees to consumers by 37%
  • Supports Rule 21 by resolving technical safety issues
  • Establishes technology & size neutral review process
  • Identified testing and certification requirements
  • Enables insertion of new generation (e.g. renewables) into the grid
real time transmission line monitoring rating
Real Time Transmission Line Monitoring/Rating
  • tension monitoring increases transmission capabilities by 15-30%
  • highly accurate - measures line sagging to within 1-3 inches
  • increased safety - provides the actual real time rating and provides alarms of impending clearance violations
  • system 1-3 were built for utilities in Virginia, Colorado and Finland
  • 200th system was sold on 8/4/00. The systems are in use on five continents by 70 utilities.
pier program activities will be designed to
PIER Program Activities will be Designed to:
  • Maintain mid- and long-term programs that will contribute to long-term solutions to California’s electricity problems
  • Increase focus on short-term RD&D that will mitigate the current electricity crisis in California
  • Work with California industries to help them meet their electricity needs while remaining competitive
  • Develop environmental and safety information, measurement tools, and mitigation technologies that will help California meet its electricity needs with minimum negative impact to the environment
  • Be accountable for its program expenditures and establish quantitative, measurable goals that can be used to gauge the success of its programs
  • Serve as a clearinghouse for information about on-the-shelf technologies that can be used to quickly increase end-use energy efficiency and add to available electricity supply