In addition to the US$415 million, a further US$83 million will be paid out each year until 2019 for behind-the-meter generation technologies including wind, fuel cells and energy storage.
The Self-Generation Incentive Programme is the original California renewables incentive which before the launch of the California Solar Initiative. The programme has been in support of peak load reduction and solar technology adoption.
However, the Self-Generation Incentive Programme is turning more towards energy storage applications. With a mandate to add 200 megawatts of energy storage behind the meter by 2020, the Self-Generation Incentive Programme will "really help build the ecosystem," according to Janice Lin, the chair of Energy Storage North America. [Engerati-California’s Energy Storage Mandate-Will Others Follow? and California Invests in its Clean Energy Future.]
Energy storage applications are growing
In 2012, the Self-Generation Incentive Programme incentive, devoted to energy storage, was for just two systems totaling 2 megawatts. In April 2013, there were over 25 megawatts of energy storage in the Self-Generation Incentive Programme queue. Lin says that there were more applications for energy storage than for any other technology in 2013.
The Self-Generation Incentive Programme involves the following:
The incentive payment is capped at 3 megawatts
Wind systems, fuel cells and advanced energy storage systems must be covered by a minimum ten-year warranty
Storage can be stand-alone or in tandem with solar or another technology
Big picture viewpoint on energy storage
Lin sees the Self-Generation Incentive Programme as significant in meeting the 1.3-gigawatt California Public Utilities Commission mandate for storage, especially since 200 megawatts of that energy storage must be customer-sited. Lin encourages the adoption of a "big-picture" viewpoint on energy storage in California. She envisions the aggregation of distributed generation and storage to provide services such as frequency regulation, resource adequacy or flexible capacity to the grid.
For Lin, energy storage is about "using the grid more efficiently." She adds, "Once the governor signs the bill, it will be about big implementation efforts at the Public Utilities Commission.