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What is California’s SB 700

In September 2018, former California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law California’s SB 700 to keep the future of clean and reliable energy secure in his state. SB 700 is also known as the “Sun shines at night” bill. It will help fund and extend the state’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

Over the next 8-10 years, SB 700 will utilize hundreds of thousands of energy storage batteries that work in conjunction with solar panels. The use of energy storage is necessary for the wide scale deployment of renewable energy. The result of SB 700 will be almost three gigawatts of energy storage systems at businesses, homes, schools, farms, and non profits by 2026 in California. This will have benefits to ratepayers, customers, and the environment.

SB 700 Would Increase Demand for Energy Storage and Lower Costs

SB 700 will reauthorize the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) for five years, meaning that rebates for consumers will be extended through 2025. This gives the opportunity for up to $800 million for storage and other technologies that produce clean energy. This will result in a total investment of $1.2 billion for newly installed energy storage. This extra push for energy storage will help California move toward and achieve the goal of generating 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The full legal explanation of SB 700 is found in the California Legislature Code.

There are close to 90,000 jobs in the California solar and storage industry. More jobs than in the traditional utilities. Unless the storage market becomes as mainstream and successful as solar, these jobs will greatly decline. Solar experienced an 80% decline in costs during the 10-year incentive program and installed local solar energy systems saw an increase of 20 times what the original numbers were. SB 700 is a way to increase the energy storage installations.

SB 700 is a clear and standard policy that will help to lower costs, increase jobs, and give more customers access to energy storage. Combining solar with batteries provides clean energy and is an affordable and reliable system that can be made available to many consumers.

SB 700 had bipartisan support in the California legislature in August and was voted in 25-12 vote in the Senate and 57-18 in the Assembly. Governor Jerry Brown signed it into law on September 27, 2018. The new law took effect January 1, 2019.