California pushes forward with storage support (Read the bill here)

On the same day President Donald J. Trump decided to take the United States boldly backwards on Climate Change, the California Senate passed a bill that would move California, with its sixth largest economy in the world, decidedly toward the future.

Senate Bill (SB) 700 is designed to make it easier to access energy storage for customer sited projects for schools, farms, businesses and homes. By most solar advocate estimates, energy storage is the next step in the technology’s evolution because it will make solar more widely available to more people.

The bill passed 23-13.

“In California, we are pushing aggressive renewable energy goals because we know that fighting Climate Change means taking action now,” said Senator Scott Wiener, author of the bill. “This bill will push us down the path to 100% renewable energy. To meet our goals, we need solar, storage and other renewable energy resources in every city and neighborhood in California, not just for those that can afford it.”

Wiener’s bill, which now heads to the state Assembly for consideration, would create a 10-year rebate program worth $1.4 billion that  supporters claim would simultaneously grow the state’s local storage market and make it more affordable. As more storage systems are installed, driving overall installation prices lower, the rebates would be reduced over time.

“Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Scott Wiener, Californians are one step closer to taking control of their clean energy future,” said Laura Gray, energy storage policy advisor with the California Solar Energy Industries Association. “This bill would allow homes, businesses, schools and public buildings to use solar and renewable energy at all hours of the day and night. Using a combination of solar and storage, consumers will make the sun shine at night.”

Wiener’s bill also has the support of low-income household advocates because it dedicates a portion of the rebates to underserved areas and low-income homeowners.

“By setting aside 30% of incentives for low-income homes across the state, along with small businesses and public institutions in disadvantaged and low-income communities, this bill will empower Californians to share in the benefits of energy storage more equitably,” said Stephanie Wang, policy director for the California Housing Partnership.

Read the full bill here: