California Self-Generation Incentive Program Extended and Modified

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has extended funding for the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) through 2024 and adopted program changes to target customers affected by Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events.

The funding extension approved in Decision 20-01-021 was authorized by the California Legislature in Senate Bill 700 (Weiner, 2018). After taking comments from interested parties, the CPUC has decided to collect $166 million annually for 2020-2024. In accordance with Assembly Bill 1144 (Friedman, 2019) the CPUC has earmarked a portion of program funding to benefit customers affected by PSPS events or located in areas of extreme or elevated wildfire risk.

The SGIP program budget will be allocated as follows:

  • 12 percent for renewable generation projects;
  • 63 percent for equity resiliency energy storage projects, with eligibility expanded to include customers whose electricity has been shut off during two or more discrete PSPS events;
  • 3 percent for other equity projects;
  • 10 percent general market (non-equity resiliency) large-scale energy storage projects;
  • 7 percent residential energy storage projects;
  • 5 percent general market heat pump water heaters.

The decision accelerates the effective date for implementing greenhouse gas reduction eligibility standards for small residential projects, increases the base rebate for renewable generation projects, adopts resiliency incentive adders, makes changes in the step-down incentive structure, authorizes SGIP administrators to seek CPUC leave to transfer funds between energy storage and renewable generation accounts after 2022 or to seek suspension or modification of the developer cap under certain conditions, and establishes new information and permitting requirements to support resiliency objectives.

A three-stage implementation process will ensure that the equity resiliency budget is available for residential applications no later than March 1, 2020, and for non-residential applications by April 1, 2020. Workshops will be held to further address policy and participation issues.

The CPUC plans to open a new SGIP rulemaking in early 2020.

Ellison Schneider Harris & Donlan attorneys follow SGIP proceedings and assist clients with SGIP application questions.

Contact: Lynn Haug or Jed Gibson