Self-Generation Incentive Programme Rebate Extended

California’s Governor, Jerry Brown, has authorized US$415 million to continue the Self-Generation Incentive Programme rebate.
Published: Tue 24 Jun 2014

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.

Further reading

California Public Utilities Commission-2013 Self-Generation Incentive Program Handbook [pdf]

California Public Utilities Commission-2014 Self-Generation Incentive Program Handbook [pdf]

California Public Utilities Commission-Self-Generation Incentive Program

Greentech Grid-California Approves $415 for Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage, Fuel Cells, Wind and Turbines

United States Environmental Protection Agency-Self-Generation Incentive Program