The California Energy Commission plans to streamline its process for geothermal developers to apply for grants that help them get projects running. The Energy Commission agreed to begin a rulemaking aimed at easing the way at its Feb. 8 meeting. The upcoming changes are to eliminate red tape in the application process for funding under the state\u2019s Geothermal Program, which was founded in 1981, explained Cheryl Closson, Energy Commission staff member. Since then, the Energy Commission has awarded $69 million to the state\u2019s geothermal industry in support of some 180 separate projects at geothermal sites around the state. The Geothermal Program is funded by the federal government, which shares the royalties it gains from leasing geothermal energy rights on federal lands around the state. Geothermal supplies about 4 percent of the state\u2019s power, according to the Energy Commission. California has 42 geothermal plants with a total capacity of 1,727 MW.