The University of San Diego, Cleantech San Diego and California State University- San Marcos, were recently awarded a $1.5 million grant to grow their three-year-old accelerator for clean energy startups.

The program, called the Southern California Energy Innovation Network (SCEIN) was created in 2016 to provide free business, technical and regulatory services to clean energy startups in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The accelerator was formed through a $5 million grant from the California Energy Commission.

The additional $1.5 million was awarded from the U.S. Economic Development Administration through an i6 Regional Innovation Strategies grant, which supports centers for innovation and entrepreneurship. SCEIN will use the funds to scale up the program, bringing in more industry and financial stakeholders, and hire an Inland Empire program manager.

To date, the program has supported 30 startup companies. Through the i6 grant, it plans to support another 50 startups from the Inland Empire.

"The University of San Diego is thrilled to play a leading role in the development of this important ecosystem and in generating high tech jobs for our region's future," Chell Roberts, Dean of USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, said in a news release.