Energy Storage for Facilities

Connecting facilities with solar to available battery storage incentives, funding, and financing.

Prepare for Fire Season with Energy Storage for Your Facility

MCE provided benefits include:

  • MCE-vetted storage partners for end-to-end project development and management
  • Up to $0.22 per kWh performance payment for energy discharged by MCE’s automated control platform to power the facility between 4-9pm
  • Gap funding (subject to availability) to reduce upfront capital costs
  • $20 monthly bill credit for every 20kWh of storage installed, up to $200 per month
  • Competitive financing offered through an MCE-vetted third party, National Energy Improvement Fund

 

MCE is offering a program to help your facility install a battery energy storage system to help keep the electricity on when the grid goes out, either unexpectedly or as a result of a planned PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event in exchange for allowing MCE to dispatch the battery to manage peak and mitigate high energy costs. By providing stored energy to your business, nonprofit, or public agency during normal operations at peak periods when electricity costs the most, you can reduce your annual electricity expenses.

As part of MCE’s Energy Storage Program, MCE’s vetted contractors will support your application for Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) funds, if available, to further reduce out-of-pocket costs.

MCE also offers performance-based payments for non-residential customers on commercial rates. The performance-based payment may vary based on the date you enroll in the MCE Energy Storage Program and will be reviewed and detailed in the proposal prepared by an MCE vetted contractor to determine how this will impact the economics of your site for deploying energy storage.

Enrolled customers will also receive a monthly bill credit of $20 per month for every 20 kWh of energy storage installed – up to $200 per month maximum – in exchange for allowing MCE to program the energy storage system to charge and discharge at specified times throughout the day to minimize the cost of grid electricity and maximize the value of installed solar.

*The Energy Storage Program uses multiple funding sources to provide you with a battery at reduced cost. We cannot make any guarantees about the amount and sources of funding. The eligibility rules for each external funding source may change at any time without prior notice, and the funding streams may run out. We will work with you to secure the best available funding for your battery. Thank you for your interest in this new opportunity and for your patience and understanding as the program continues to evolve.

Program Benefits

MCE’s Energy Storage Program offers reduced cost energy storage systems. We will prepare an application for SGIP incentives on your behalf, and MCE will provide upfront funding for qualified customers*. You will receive no-cost technical assistance from start to finish, including planning and installing your energy storage system with support from MCE’s vetted contractors. Program participation also includes additional benefits for your facility, while increasing resiliency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Facility Benefits

Maximize the value of your solar system and other energy investments by installing energy storage. Your battery can help you:

  • Decrease energy costs by minimizing energy pulled from the grid during peak times from 4-9 pm, and receive performance-based payments for energy discharged during the peak.
  • Receive energy bill credits of $20 per month per 20kWh installed storage, up to a maximum of $200 per month.
  • Receive performance-based payments for each kWh discharged from the battery during certain times of the day.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint.

Resiliency

Your energy storage system can help you keep the electricity on during grid outages. Your battery can also be used to:

  • Increase grid resiliency for all customers by adding power to the grid when it’s needed most.

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By using your facility’s solar to charge your battery, you ensure clean electricity is available to power your facility during outages. You also:

  • Reduce the need to purchase extra energy during times of peak demand, when most energy is being produced from fossil-fuel resources.
    Take greater advantage of the clean energy you’re generating at your own facility.
  • Project costs will vary based on site specific considerations such as materials, labor, trenching needs, electrical upgrades, or other items. Final project costs will be determined via a site inspection by a vetted contractor.

*MCE performance-based payments and upfront funding are provided in exchange for allowing MCE to control the battery charge and discharge during normal, non-emergency operations

Eligibility

  • Must be an MCE customer, located in MCE’s service area
  • Must have existing solar or be willing to install solar
  • See below to see what level of statewide funding you qualify for

Group 1

For customers eligible for the Group 2 funding level, MCE offers $200/kWh of installed battery energy storage capacity, capped at $50,000**.
Your facility must meet the following criteria:
  • Must have existing solar or commit to installing solar with storage, AND
  • Meets SGIP Definition of Equity Resiliency, OR
  • Serve customers in Disadvantaged communities, (DACs) or Low-Income Communities (LICs), OR
  • Demonstrate that the majority of the population served meets the definition of LIC,
AND your facility must be considered one of the following types of facilities:
  • Police station; fire station; emergency response provider; emergency operations center; 911 call center; medical facility; private and public natural gas, electric, water, wastewater or flood facility; jail or prison; utility designated PSPS assistance center; cooling center; homeless shelter; grocery store, supermarket, or corner store with less than $15 million in annual gross receipts;  an Independent Living Center or a Food Bank.

See selfgenca.com/home/resources/ for SGIP*** Definitions or Rules

Group 2

For customers eligible for the Group 2 funding level, MCE offers $200/kWh of installed battery energy storage capacity, capped at $50,000**.
Your facility must meet the following criteria:
  • Must have existing solar or commit to installing solar with storage, AND
  • Meets SGIP Definition of General Market Resiliency, OR:
Your facility must be considered one of the following types of facilities:
  • Police station; fire station; emergency response provider; emergency operations center; 911 call center; medical facility; private and public natural gas, electric, water, wastewater or flood facility; jail or prison; utility designated PSPS assistance center; cooling center; homeless shelter; grocery store, supermarket, or corner store with less than $15 million in annual gross receipts;  an Independent Living Center or a Food Bank.

See https://www.selfgenca.com/home/resources/ for SGIP*** Definitions or Rules

Group 3

For customers eligible for the Group 3 funding level, MCE offers $100/kWh of installed battery energy storage capacity, capped at $35,000**.
Your facility must meet the following criteria:
  • Must have existing solar without battery energy storage or commit to installing solar with battery energy storage

**MCE reserves the right to change funding levels at any time for any reason.
***SGIP incentives are based on currently available incentive rates.

Process

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Apply online or get in touch

Complete the Energy Storage Program Intake Form. For questions, contact info@mceCleanEnergy.org or 1 (888) 632-3674.
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Confirm your eligibility

MCE will contact you to determine your eligibility and request supporting documentation to begin preparing an energy storage system proposal for your facility.
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Select Your Battery

Once all documentation has been received, one of MCE’s qualified energy storage project developers, MBL, THG, Gridscape or SunPower, will work with you to plan and design your energy storage system as part of your application.

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Apply for Funding

After you have reviewed and signed your application for SGIP funding and the MCE Energy Storage Program Agreement, your contractor will submit it on your behalf. This will ensure the SGIP application process is quick and easy for you.

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Move Forward with Installation

Your contractor will work with you to install the energy storage system.
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Receive Monthly Bill Credits

Once your battery is interconnected with PG&E’s electric grid, you will begin receiving MCE’s Energy Storage Program Credits on your monthly energy statements.

Questions? Contact us at info@mceCleanEnergy.org or 1 (888) 632-3674.

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

Energy storage (most commonly using batteries) is the capture of energy produced at one point in time for use at a later time to provide backup power (resiliency), reduce monthly electric bills, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by expanding the use of renewable energy.  By agreeing to allow MCE to control their energy storage systems during non-emergency times, participants in MCE’s Energy Storage Program are also helping to keep costs lower by avoiding using energy from the grid during times when costs are highest.

There are many ways of storing electrical energy, however, lithium-ion batteries are the most popular battery storage option today, accounting for more than 90 percent of the global battery storage market. Lithium-ion batteries can be paired with solar panels to allow households and businesses to access electricity when the power is out as an alternative to polluting and expensive diesel generators.

If severe weather threatens a portion of the electric system, it may be necessary for PG&E to turn off electricity in the interest of public safety. This is known as a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event.

To be eligible for the Equity Resiliency incentives, a customer must have experienced two or more discrete PSPS events. A discrete event is defined as a continuous planned outage event during which no power is restored. Note that after initiating a PSPS outage event, PG&E may provide notification of a secondary event, or continuation of the PSPS event, but unless power has been restored prior to the second notification, it will only count as a single PSPS event for the purposes of determining SGIP Equity Resiliency eligibility.

As part of MCE’s Energy Storage Program, all participating customers must pair their energy storage system with a solar installation to maximize the resiliency value. While an energy storage system without solar may be able to provide backup power to critical loads for a day or two, an energy storage system paired with solar can consistently provide power for an extended period of time.

As part of MCE’s Energy Storage Program, all participating customers will own the energy storage system, and MCE will program the energy storage system for daily operations

The energy storage systems (batteries) installed through MCE’s Energy Storage Program include technology that enables smart programming for the system to be controlled remotely. MCE will manage the batteries to ensure that they are capable of providing immediate backup power in the event of a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) or other emergency power outages. At all other times, the battery will be programmed to charge in the morning and early afternoon during lower priced, “off peak” hours from your onsite solar. The battery will discharge during higher priced “peak” hours to supply power to your facility. This daily charging and discharging may be adjusted for special circumstances when it’s important to respond to other real-time conditions such as heat waves.

This Energy Storage Program Agreement (pdf) is your agreement to participate in MCE’s Energy Storage Program, which provides you with $20 per month for every 20 kWh of energy storage installed up to $200 per month maximum to allow MCE to charge and discharge your battery throughout the day. This agreement will also include the total cost of the battery installation, including other funding sources to help offset the cost, and the final cost to you.

SGIP

California Public Utilities Commission’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) offers financial incentives for the installation of clean, efficient and cutting-edge technologies that are designed to meet all or a portion of a customer’s electric energy needs. While SGIP provides funding for energy storage systems, it does not currently offer incentives for solar panels.

For customers who participate in MCE’s Energy Storage Program, an MCE-vetted contractor will submit an SGIP application on your behalf while helping you understand the application process and eligibility requirements. For more information on applying for SGIP funding independently, please see here.

As the Program Administrator for SGIP in the areas served by MCE, PG&E is responsible for reviewing and approving all SGIP applications.  Typically, this review process takes 30-60 days. However, errors and/or missing information will delay the application and extend the timeline. 

For all residential projects and non-residential projects less than 10 kW, you have 12 months from the time you receive your SGIP Confirmed Reservation Letter to install and interconnect your energy storage system and submit an Incentive Claim Form.

For non-residential projects larger than 10 kW, you have 18 months from the time you receive your SGIP Confirmed Reservation Letter to install and interconnect your energy storage system and submit an Incentive Claim Form. Due to the complexity of larger projects, extensions may be granted if PG&E, the Program Administrator, requests additional information to review the Incentive Claim Form or schedules a post-installation inspection.

For more details, please download the most current SGIP Program Handbook, available here: selfgenca.com

Your energy coach will work closely with you and your staff to identify various opportunities for energy savings. These measures encompass behavioral modifications, retro-commissioning, and improvements in operations and maintenance. Behavioral changes can be as straightforward as ensuring doors, windows, and louvers are properly closed, or more involved like optimizing equipment schedules and setpoints. Retro-commissioning focuses on assessing building systems to ensure they operate as efficiently as intended, identifying any areas where improvements can be made. Operations and maintenance changes may involve tasks like replacing filters, repairing leaks, and conducting regular inspections of fans and belts.

Together, these measures contribute to significant energy savings without requiring substantial financial investments.

SGIP is funded by all customers who pay an electric or gas bill to a utility company in the State of California.

Yes, systems are eligible for a reservation up to 12 months after receiving authorization to interconnect from PG&E. For more information on applying for SGIP funding independently, please see here.

While there is no limit to the number of systems on a project site, there is a limit to the overall capacity on site. The combined kW capacity of all the technologies may not exceed peak demand over the last 12 months. SGIP incentivizes systems up to 6 MWh for storage. Systems sized 10 kW and less are exempt from sizing requirements.

Billing + Rates

This Energy Storage Tariff (pdf) outlines eligible Time-Of-Use rate schedules customers who participate in MCE’s Energy Storage Program must be on. Most customers are scheduled to move to these rates by 2022 as part of a statewide transition. Businesses are scheduled to be moved as early as March 2021.

If you need to switch rates in order to participate, MCE can help assess the impact to your bill and provide instructions on how to change your rate. You will need to submit your rate change request to PG&E no later than the date of your battery installation.

Please contact us at info@mceCleanEnergy.org if you have any questions about your current rate class or how participating in the Energy Storage Program could impact your annual energy costs.

Yes, customers can still participate in MCE’s NEM program.

Energy Resiliency

Energy resiliency is about ensuring reliable, regular supply of energy and having contingency measures in place in the event of a power failure. Being energy resilient allows us to withstand disruptions in power supply, keeping the lights on even when the power grid is out.

In some cases, the energy storage may back up your entire home or facility. If you participate in the MCE Energy Storage Program, a project developer will work with you to determine what equipment and appliances your battery can back up based on the battery size, to ensure essential loads are served during an outage.

A microgrid is a compressed version of the larger electrical grid that provides electricity for a small geographic area, like a couple of buildings or a local community. Microgrids must have a source of energy to supply electricity to its users, like solar plus battery storage. Microgrids are capable of becoming electrically isolated from the grid in the event of an outage. When the grid goes down due to a PSPS event, a severe weather event, a knocked over telephone pole, or any other event, a microgrid can break off into “island-mode” and operate on its own using local energy sources. As such, one key feature of a microgrid is its ability to continue operating even when the larger grid goes out.

Microgrids provide backup power during outages and can also be used to reduce costs. Microgrids allow communities to be more energy independent and are more environmentally friendly when powered with clean energy. When the grid goes down, buildings with solar plus storage disconnect (or “island”) from the grid to keep their own lights on by self-generating power.

There are several applications of microgrids, from powering emergency response buildings to providing grid resilience for communities with a large population of people whose health would be put at risk by a prolonged power outage. In fact, one of the major benefits of a microgrid is that it can extend beyond a single house or building to create a tiny electricity-isolated island within a community. For example, a microgrid between a fire department, a school, and a senior center could provide benefits to first responders, an at-risk population, and a possible emergency shelter all within one interconnected and resilient microgrid system.

MCE wants to mitigate the impacts of grid outages threatening the safety, reliability, health, and welfare of our customers, which disproportionately affect vulnerable populations while supporting decarbonization and statewide efforts to improve overall grid reliability. As our mission is to address climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, we support backup power solutions that minimize the use of polluting generators and fossil fuel technologies.

Yes, PSPS events impact all customers regardless of their enrollment with MCE.

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