MERCED -- The Merced Irrigation District announced Thursday it will continue sponsoring solar energy research at UC Merced for the third year in a row.
The MID became the first public utility to sponsor the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute in 2011, according to MID officials.
Called UC Solar, the multi-campus effort aims to develop efficient and affordable solar technologies.
"MID remains committed to clean energy," said Don Ouchley, deputy general manager of energy resources. "A significant focus of the UC Solar Institute is its effort to make solar energy more affordable."
The institute began in 2010 with a $2.25 million grant from the UC Office of Research and includes faculty from UC campuses in Merced, Berkeley, Davis, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Irvine and Santa Cruz.
UC Merced professor and solar energy researcher Roland Winston leads the research program, officials said.
"Merced Irrigation District has been a terrific sponsor over the years," Winston said.