Planning Energy Technology Systems Integration Research

Energy Technology Systems Integration (ETSI) research is planned and developed by:

  • Engaging stakeholders: utilities, federal, state and local governments, as well as non-governmental organizations.
  • Engaging the research community: scientists and engineers from California Universities, national laboratories and private industries within the energy sector.
  • Identifying gaps in current research related to ETSI focus areas.
  • Offering funding through competitive solicitations to projects that propose the maximum benefit to California ratepayers.

Energy Technology Systems Integration Research Focus Areas

Demand Response

The goal of the Demand Response Research Focus Area is to support the development of technologies, policies, programs, strategies and practices that automatically manage customer load reductions through communication and electricity related actions of connected rate payers and generation systems to dynamically respond to real-time electricity supply conditions and market pricing.

Demand Response research focuses on:

  • Energy systems integration & communication.
  • Dynamic pricing.
  • Automation & communication.
  • Open automated demand response.
  • Residential & commercial buildings research.
  • Industrial demand response.
  • Refrigerated warehouses.
  • Food processing.
  • Water & wastewater.
  • Data centers.


Energy Storage

Energy Storage technology has many diverse applications and can be used anywhere from homes to factories to the grid. These potential applications include the integration of high penetrations of renewable generation, power quality improvements, load leveling, load curtailment, and storage of electricity for use later at a more critical time.

Energy Storage research focuses on:

  • Comparing energy storage systems to determine capabilities and applications of various technologies as they are applied through the grid system.
  • Determining the costs and benefits of applications of storage devices.
  • Exploring the need for a test site and methods of testing and comparing energy storage systems.
  • Ascertaining the economic and physical value of storage in the marketplace and as a distributed energy resource.
  • Determining environmental, institutional, technical, and market barriers for widespread application of energy storage devices as an alternative to transmission and distribution system control and load management.
  • Reducing the cost and improving the reliability of storage technologies such as chemical batteries, flywheels, ultra capacitors, superconducting magnetic energy storage, reversible fuel cells, and flow batteries.
  • Facilitating the integration of renewables and storage technology with the California smart grid.


Transmission and Distribution

In partnership with California utilities, system operators and major industry stakeholders, the Transmission and Distribution Research Area is helping to bring to market innovative technologies that promote two - way channel systems that allow integration of distributed energy generation systems closer to end-users, integration of smart controllers and communication, the maximizing of use of existing resources and methods to optimize the grid system.

Transmission and Distribution research focuses on:

  • Improving the efficiency, reliability and capability of the existing transmission and distribution systems.
  • Increase use of phasor measurement.
  • Distribution automation.
  • Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).
  • Market redesign and technology upgrade (MRTU) interface.
  • Advance communication and controls.
  • Operations with higher penetrations of renewable.



In partnership with local, state, and federal entities as well as the private sector, the Security Research Focus Area is dedicated to ensuring a robust, secure, and reliable energy infrastructure for California by supporting Smart Grid technology development.

Security research focuses on:

  • Improving security and reliability of critical infrastructure.
  • Prevention of, preparation for, and response to cyber threats, hazards, and energy supply disruptions.
  • Reducing vulnerabilities that are not being adequately addressed by competitive and regulated markets.



The goal of the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) is to remove man-made carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by means of carbon capture, storage, and terrestrial sequestration. WESTCARB research is currently in Phase III of its research program.

Upcoming WESTCARB Phase III research will fall into several categories:

  • Regional geologic characterization studies to determine storage potential.
  • Regional socioeconomic characterization studies.
  • Understanding seismic issues.
  • Drilling characterization wells based on collected data and site surveys
  • Includes taking core and fluid samples and plugging the well after completion.
  • Chemical and physical testing of underground rocks and fluids to determine carbon storage potential.
  • Public outreach on the value to California and the nation on carbon capture and storage.


Small Grants

The Energy innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program provides funding for electricity and natural gas development and demonstration projects that are not adequately provided for by competitive and regulated energy markets. The EISG Program provides up to $95,000 for hardware projects and $50,000 for modeling projects to small businesses, non-profits, individuals and academic institutions to conduct research that establishes the feasibility of new, innovative energy concepts. Research projects must target one of the EISG research focus areas, address a California energy problem, and provide a potential benefit to California electric and natural gas rate payers.

EISG research focuses on:

  • Natural gas energy efficiency.
  • Natural gas environmental impacts.
  • Renewable energy technologies.
  • Strategic analysis.
  • Advance generation concepts.
  • Smart grid.
  • Transportation efficiency.
  • Green house gas reduction technologies.