GFO-23-308 – DC HVAC Nanogrid Module Development and Demonstration

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Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
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The purpose of this solicitation is to develop and demonstrate the impact of a DC-powered HVAC heat pump in a self-contained module that includes solar PV and energy storage, also known as a DC HVAC nanogrid module, in residential and commercial settings. 


This solicitation aims to reduce building dependency on grid electricity, increase energy efficiency of HVAC equipment operating on DC power, decrease burdens – and enhance access – to solar and heat pump adoption, and create business and manufacturing opportunities for those who develop DC HVAC nanogrid modules.

The potential technology solution could be a modular system that includes an appropriately-sized PV array and energy storage integrated with a DC HVAC system. Such systems could support cost-effective decarbonization, summer electric demand management, and increased market adoption of clean HVAC electrification while avoiding the complexities of interconnection and stand-alone PV and storage installation, particularly for those in under-resourced communities. These systems could provide the benefits of solar and storage to ratepayers who have limited roof space or cannot afford a larger building-level PV/storage system.

The installation would ideally be similar to an HVAC replacement, in that it would not require an inverter, onsite electrician, interconnection agreement, conduits, wiring, electric panel upgrades, or other utility-side requirements. Power from the solar PV and energy storage would be used entirely onsite and would not be exported to the grid. Rather, these systems would gain efficiency benefits from direct DC connections among the solar PV, storage, and HVAC equipment. Projects under this initiative could also eliminate or reduce building HVAC load during peak hours in summer months, improving reliability on the grid. The unit would typically be powered by solar PV and energy storage, except when either solar or stored energy is unavailable; at those times, the HVAC would use an AC/DC converter to be powered by the grid. The HVAC could continue operation uninterrupted during a grid outage when there is adequate solar and storage power available to meet the HVAC system’s load.

Funded projects must develop and demonstrate the following technologies in existing buildings:

·       DC-powered HVAC equipment that directly uses onsite solar generated electricity;

·       Energy and/or thermal storage integrated into the system to improve cost effectiveness; and

·                A transfer switch incorporated into the module to isolate generation equipment from the grid and simplify installation.

Projects must fall within one of the following project groups:

·       Group 1: Residential DC HVAC Nanogrid; and

·       Group 2: Commercial DC HVAC Nanogrid.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Business
  • Individual
  • Nonprofit
  • Other Legal Entity
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

This solicitation is open to all public and private entities with the exception of local publicly owned electric utilities. 

Eligible Geographies:

No local publicly owned electric utilities. 

Matching Funding Requirement:

Match funding is not required for Group 1. Note that all proposed projects must be located in and benefiting under-resourced communities within IOU service territories.  However, applications that include match funding will receive additional points during the scoring phase (see Scoring Criteria in Section IV F).

Match funding is required for Group 2 in the amount of at least 20% of the requested CEC project funds.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
Week of 08/05/2024
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
Until funds expire

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

EPIC Program

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:


How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.


For questions about this grant, contact:
Crystal Willis, 1-916-529-1108,