After weeks of rolling blackouts and another wave of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Events, Californian’s are once again reminded of their need for backup power. As independent energy advisors, TerraVerde is supporting water agencies, transit agencies, schools, local governments, and Community Choice Energy Agencies (CCAs) in leveraging available incentives to deploy solar PV + battery energy storage systems as a means of both saving money and meeting backup power needs.

One of the primary incentives for these projects is the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which provides a rebate of between 30-100% of the cost of commercial-scale battery energy storage system. Recently, California added $675 million to the program and increased incentive levels for projects in vulnerable communities, especially at certain critical facilities. However, the substantial demand for these batteries is aggressively depleting this funding.

For example, on May 12, 2020, the increased Equity Incentive opened up with $48.5M available and was oversubscribed immediately, leaving some $300M worth of projects waitlisted with no additional funding planned for this category. Similarly, we are seeing lots of activity in the Equity Resiliency portion of the program, which is currently down to $274M in available funding, down from $395M on July 23, 2020. The following table is a summary of the current status of the incentives available for commercial-scale battery systems.

Current Status of SGIP Incentives for Commercial-Scale Batteries

Base Incentive

Resiliency Adder

Equity Incentive

Equity Resiliency

Incentive Level  

$0.35 / Whr

$0.50 / Whr $0.85 / Whr  

$1.00 / Whr



Coming Soon Waitlisted  


Available Funds  


Shares Base

Incentive Funding



  • critical facilities
  • located in a HFTD or experienced two or more PSPS events
  • and serves a low-income or disadvantaged community that is in a HFTD or has experienced two or more PSPS events

As it relates to this SGIP incentive program, Critical Facilities include:

  • Police & fire stations
  • Emergency response providers
  • Emergency operations centers
  • 911 call centers
  • Medical facilities
  • Gas, electric, and water facilities
  • Jails & prisons
  • Utility designated PSPS shelters
  • Local government designated cooling centers
  • Homeless shelters
  • Grocery stores and markets
  • Independent living centers
  • Food banks

High Fire Threat Districts are those regions designated by the CPUC as Tier 2 or Tier 3.

Low-income communities are defined as “Census tracts with median household incomes at or below 80% of the statewide median income or with median household incomes at or below the threshold designated as low-income by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s list of state income limits adopted pursuant to Section 50093.”

Disadvantaged communities are defined as “Any census tract that ranks in the statewide top 25% most affected census tracts in the most recently released version of the environmental health screening tool, CalEnviroScreen, plus those census tracts that score within the highest 5% of CalEnviroScreen’s pollution burden, but do not receive an overall CalEnviroScreen score.”

If your team is considering battery energy storage, now is the time to get started. Over the past 11 years, TerraVerde Energy has supported the successful implementation of over 100 megawatts of solar PV and battery energy storage systems for which we provided independent technical and financial feasibility analyses, project development support (developing and administering RFPs), project implementation management (overseeing design, interconnection, incentive applications, and construction), and ongoing asset management services (system performance monitoring, O&M, financial management & reporting). To learn more about your project opportunities and how TerraVerde can help, write to us at

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