On September 27th, California Governor Jerry Brown approved the bill to extend SGIP, the Self Generation Incentive Program that will provide battery installations in California homes, schools, commercial and non-profit organizations with as much as $700 million in funding. This certainly serves as a vote of confidence in California’s support of solar energy, and most likely a sign of similar renewable-friendly policies to follow.
The program gives rebates to qualifying distributed energy systems, potentially lowering the cost of adding PV system batteries by $1,000s.
SGIP has existed since 2006, initially founded as a means to encourage peak load reduction by funding solar, it eventually turned into the main funding source for behind-the-meter batteries. Companies like Stem, Sunverge and Tesla have taken advantage of the incentives for systems smaller than 30 kW.
While some companies took advantage of its first-come, first-served submission process, some large changes have been enacted since that changed the awarding system with a lottery focused on projects with that offer additional grid-balancing or greenhouse gas reduction efforts. In addition, a declining incentive structure similar to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program were put into place that would reduce payouts throughout the programs lifetime.
This program should help California continue to lead the nation in behind-the-meter battery installations, lowering the costs of PV solar as an alternative to grid power.
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