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GFO-20-608 - Ultra-Low-Carbon Fuel: Commercial-Scale Production Facilities & Blending Infrastructure

Updated: Apr 27

The California Energy Commission’s (CEC’s) Clean Transportation Program announces the availability of $8.0 million to support ultra-low-carbon fuel in two funding categories: commercial-scale production facilities and blending infrastructure.


Up to $6.0 million in grant funds is available for commercial-scale production facility projects (referred to in this solicitation as Fuel Production projects). Funding is available for new, ultra-low-carbon fuel production facilities, or for the expansion of existing ultra-low-carbon fuel production facilities.


Up to $2.0 million in grant funds is available for ultra-low-carbon fuel blending infrastructure projects (referred to in this solicitation as Fuel Blending projects). Deadline for Written Questions*

April 21, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Pre-Application Workshop*

April 23, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Anticipated Distribution of Questions/Answers and Addenda (if any) to solicitation Week of May 17, 2021

Pre-Application Abstract Due by 5:00 p.m.* June 11, 2021

Anticipated Posting of Pre-Application Abstract Results July 21, 2021

Deadline for Written Questions* July 28, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Anticipated Distribution of Questions/Answers and Addenda (if any) to solicitation Week of August 23, 2021

Deadline to Submit Full Applications by 5:00 p.m.* September 22, 2021


The Fuel Production category contains two unique project types: New Facility and Expansion of an Existing Facility. Definitions for each category are described below.


A New Facility is a proposed project that:


· Constructs and operates a new, ultra-low-carbon fuel production facility.

· Produces at least 1.0 million Diesel Gallon Equivalents (DGE) of eligible fuel for transportation use.

· If the proposed project is located at an existing fuel production site, the new fuel production technology must be implemented as a stand-alone facility and be able to operate independently of the currently used fuel production technology.


An Expansion of an Existing Facility is a proposed project that:


· Constructs, modifies or installs equipment to increase production capacity of fuel being produced at an existing fuel production facility.

· Increases production by at least 1.0 million DGE of ultra-low-carbon eligible fuel for transportation use.


A. Project Requirements

To be eligible for funding, projects in both funding categories must meet all the following requirements:


1. The proposed project must be located in California. Project construction and operations must also occur in California.

2. The proposed project must reduce on-road motor vehicle air emissions through use as a transportation fuel.

To be eligible for funding in the Fuel Production funding category:

1. The proposed project must construct a new, ultra-low-carbon fuel production facility or expand an existing, ultra-low-carbon fuel production facility. For purposes of this solicitation new and expansion production projects are defined as:


i. Fuel Production (New Facility). Construction and operation of a new fuel production facility that is at either a new project site or at an existing fuel production site.

ii. Fuel Production (Expansion of an Existing Facility). Facilities that are making modifications to or installing equipment to increase production capacity of the fuel being produced.


2. The proposed project must result in at least 1.0 million DGE annually of new ultra-low-carbon fuel production.

3. Eligible ultra-low-carbon fuels for fuel production include diesel substitutes, gasoline substitutes, biomethane, and electricity for transportation use. For purposes of this solicitation, eligible ultra-low-carbon fuels include the following:


Diesel substitutes. These include renewable diesel, biodiesel, or other suitable substitutes, including Dimethyl Ether (DME). These products can be used in pure form or blended.

Gasoline substitutes. These include ethanol, biobutanol, renewable gasoline or other suitable substitutes. These products can be used in pure form or blended.

Biomethane. Biomethane is renewable natural gas produced from organic material.


Electricity for Transportation Use. Electricity must be produced from an eligible feedstock and dedicated for use in transportation.


Renewable hydrogen, non-renewable hydrogen, aviation fuel, marine fuel and other off-road fuel are not an eligible ultra-low-carbon fuel for this solicitation. For scoring purposes, the evaluation committee will only consider the eligible portion of the project.

4. The proposed project must produce fuel using an eligible, renewable feedstock, as discussed in the subsequent section on Eligible Feedstocks.

5. The proposed project must produce a fuel with a calculated carbon intensity of 30 gCO2/MJ or less.

To be eligible for funding as a Fuel Blending funding category:


1. The proposed project must install and operate ultra-low-carbon fuel blending infrastructure at a new or existing facility.

2. Eligible ultra-low-carbon fuels for fuel blending include biodiesel and/or renewable diesel and must have a calculated carbon intensity of 30 gCO2/MJ or less.

3. The proposed project must blend fuel produced from an eligible, renewable feedstock, as discussed in the subsequent section on Eligible Feedstocks.


4. The proposed project must result in a net increase of blending capacity of at least 1.0 million DGE annually of ultra-low-carbon fuel. If infrastructure is located at an existing fuel blending facility, the project must expand blending capacity by the minimum amount required.


5. If an applicant is submitting an application for both a fuel production and fuel blending project, if the fuel blending project proposes to use fuel from the fuel production project, the fuel and benefits will only be eligible for the fuel production project.

B. Eligible Feedstocks

For purposes of this solicitation, eligible feedstocks must be organic material not derived from fossil fuels or inorganic greenhouse gases, including but not limited to:

· Pre-landfilled waste-based biomass

· Alternative purpose-grown crops

· Agricultural residues

· Biocrude

· Woody biomass and forest residues

· Animal manures[1]

· Food waste

· The organic portion of pre-landfilled municipal solid waste (MSW)[2]

Biomass is defined as any organic material not derived from fossil fuels or inorganic greenhouse gases, including, but not limited to:

· Agricultural crops

· Agricultural waste and residues

· Rangeland maintenance residues

· Biosolids

· Sludge derived from organic matter

· Landscape and right-of-way tree trimmings

· Wood waste from timbering operations

· Mill residues that result from milling lumber

· Waste pallets

· Crates

· Dunnage, manufacturing, and construction wood wastes

· Wood

Agricultural wastes and residues include, but are not limited to:

· Animal wastes

· Remains and tallow

· Food wastes

· Recycled cooking oils

Landscape or right-of-way tree trimmings include all solid waste materials that result from tree or vegetation trimming or removal to establish or maintain a right-of-way on public or private land for the following purposes:

1) For the provision of public utilities, including, but not limited to, natural gas, water, electricity, and telecommunications.

2) For fuel hazard reduction resulting in fire protection and prevention.

3) For the public’s recreational use.[3]

Corn grain is NOT an eligible feedstock; however, this limitation does not apply to ethanol derived from corn stover, leaves, cobs, or other nonedible plant portions of the corn.[4] If using municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock, only the biogenic fraction of the waste stream is eligible.


Landfill gas is NOT an eligible feedstock.


[1] California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region, “Dairy Manure Digester and Co-Digester Facilities: Final Program Environmental Impact Report” November 2010 http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/board_decisions/tentative_orders/1012/dairy_digester_eir/dairy_digstr_fpeir.pdf [2] California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), “Statewide Anaerobic Digester Facilities for the Treatment of Municipal Organic Solid Waste: Final Program Environmental Impact Report” June 2011. https://www2.calrecycle.ca.gov/Docs/105959 [3] California Energy Commission, “Commission Guidebook, Overall Program Guidebook, Second Edition.” January 2008. http://www.energy.ca.gov/2007publications/CEC-300-2007-003/CEC-300-2007-003-ED2-CMF.PDF. [4] California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007, California Health & Safety Code, Article 2, Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, Chapter 313 (HSC§44272.4(b)(West).


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