The test beds at CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) and the Banatao Institute in Sutardja Dai Hall, CIEE (California Institute for Energy and Environment)’s offices, and CBE (Center for the Built Environment)’s chamber are about to play a new important role for a partnership with the CEC (California Energy Commission). The Cal-Test Bed program at UC Berkeley has received an $11 million grant from a partnership with the CEC. The program supports early research for clean energy technologies on the path to successful commercialization. Cal-Test Bed won the CEC award through leveraging a partnership with UC Office of the President, nine UC campuses, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Los Angeles Cleantech Institute to help build California’s clean energy economy.
Driven to streamline the difficult transition from prototype to pilot scale that many clean energy innovators experience, Cal-Test Bed aims to provide improved access to testing facilities to assess product safety and design. Several obstacles make the process unnecessarily difficult; existing testbeds operate with little coordination, clean energy entrepreneurs have little knowledge of how to pair themselves with an ideal testbed, and private investment sectors have failed to provide support for emerging energy resource technologies.
Organizing test beds under a single Cal-Test Bed Network, guiding entrepreneurs through an Awardee Pairing process, and leveraging and extending existing testing infrastructure are just a few of the ways that Cal-Test Bed hope to simplify the prototype-to-pilot process. By accelerating the introduction of energy-efficient technologies into the market, Cal-Test Bed will help reduce taxpayer costs and improve California’s air, water, and energy profile.