During the late 1990's the California Energy Commission recognized that California's
renewables industry was facing a host of issues in trying to compete in a deregulated
marketplace. The Energy Commission created the
Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Program in response. The overall
mission of the PIER Program was identified as:
"The mission of the Public Interest Energy Research Program is to
conduct public interest energy research that seeks to improve the quality of life
for California citizens by providing environmentally sound, safe, reliable and
affordable energy services and products. Public Interest Energy Research includes
the full range of research, development, and demonstration activities that will
advance science or technology not adequately provided by competitive and regulated
In an effort to encourage renewable energy research that is market oriented and has a high
likelihood of being used in California's electricity market the Energy Commission issued
an RD&D funding solicitation. The Commonwealth Biogas/PV Mini-Grid Renewable
Resource RD&D Program was developed in response to this solicitation.
The specific technology areas to be addressed by the Commonwealth Program are:
This website is intended to make reports and presentations developed during the
Commonwealth Program available to the public as well as facilitate the exchange of
project specific information between the Program
Team, its advisors, and the Energy Commission program manager.
If you wish to learn more about the background of the Commonwealth Program please click
If you wish to learn more about the seven different elements of the Commonwealth Program,
descriptions of each element can be accessed through the menu bar on the left hand side
of this page.