While it ended four weeks ago, in terms of clean energy this year’s highly consequential session of the California legislature actually came to a close yesterday, with Governor Jerry Brown (D) giving his signature to what solar and energy storage advocates consider to be a key piece of policy: a five-year extension of the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).
As expressed in private at the Solar Power International conference, advocates were getting legitimately concerned as to whether or not the governor was going to actually sign SB 700. However, yesterday the governor obliged.
California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) estimates that this will mean an additional $800 million in subsidies for batteries and other forms of energy storage, which will deliver 3 GW of additional behind-the-meter storage.
SGIP has been a key support for battery installations at homes, schools and non-profit organizations in California, and CALSSA Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro notes that the subsidy program is critical to support the state’s solar market as well, given the shift to mandatory time of use rates under the Net Metering 2.0 program.
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Can you tell me in plain language, what will the signing of SB700 do for me? I have a Sullivan Solar System installed at my residence in San Diego, and I think I had the option built in to it to have a battery/storage system for the “future.”
Is the “future” here now? With this bill signing by Gov. Brown, will it benefit me to get the “storage system option” operational? If so, can anyone give me a ball park cost/estimate breakdown so I can make an informed decision. Thank you.
California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA) says that adding batteries under SGIP helps makes the numbers pencil better given net metering 2.0 and the shift to time-of-use rates, but I’ll leave it to the installers to advise you on the exact economics of that and of retrofitting an energy storage system.
However, that isn’t the only benefit. Other PV system owners installing batteries means less PV production during mid-day and more during the afternoon, which reduces downward pressure on mid-day electricity and upward pressure on evening rates (as gas plants ramp and imports flood in). Eventually, that should translate to less unfavorable TOU rates for PV system owners, which even if you installed solar before the net metering caps were hit should still benefit you after the grandfathering period runs out.
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