New California Program Provides $57 Million to Help Food Processors Cut Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions


SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission is supporting research to help food processors in the state save energy and money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Energy Commission released a solicitation in June providing up to $57 million for two tiers of funding for its new Food Production Investment Program.

The Food Production Investment Program was established this year to provide incentives to encourage California food producers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Energy Commission was selected to administer the program, which was created by Assembly Bill 109.

The program will provide up to $57 million in grants to help accelerate the adoption of advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the food processing industry.

Agriculture is a $54-billion-dollar industry for the Golden State that generates at least $100 billion in related economic activity.

“This type of support not only helps the industry reduce operating costs and GHG emissions,” said California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller, “but it helps the industry remain competitive so jobs associated with food production remain in California.”

Up to $33 million is available in tier one of the solicitation for commercially available, energy efficient equipment upgrades that are drop-in replacements or additions to existing equipment or processes. Upgrades and additions must provide greater GHG emission reductions than current best practices or industry standard equipment. Awards range from $100,000 to $3 million.

Up to $24 million is available in tier two of the solicitation for emerging technologies not widely employed in California but proven elsewhere to reduce GHG emissions. Awards range from $2 million to $8 million.

Program funding comes from the California Climate Investments program, a statewide initiative that uses cap-and-trade dollars to help reduce GHG emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment.

The Food Production Investment Program is open to all California food processors. Applications must be submitted by Aug. 31. Match funding is required for both tiers.

A pre-application workshop to review the solicitation with potential applicants will be held July 18. Workshop attendance can be in-person or via remote access.

Projects that have been approved for funding are expected to be announced in January. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the Food Production Investment Program website.