Distributed Generation

In 2010, Governor Jerry Brown set a goal of installing 20,000 MW of renewable electricity by 2020. His Clean Energy Jobs Plan included a specific target of 12,000 MW of Distributed Generation, targeting localized energy, in order to spur investment in renewable energy and help meet the state’s ambitious climate goals. Distributed Generation (DG) generally refers to on site generation (such as solar energy at a home or business) or generation located closer to population centers or other high demand areas. Examples of customer-side DG programs include the California Solar Initiative and the Self-Generation Incentive Program.  Utility-side procurement of DG resources occurs through a variety of procurement programs, including the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program, which includes competitive solicitations, feed-in tariffs, and utility solar programs. 

California Solar Initiative

Customers receive upfront cash incentives when they install solar electric systems on homes, businesses, and public sites. 

Feed-in Tariff Small Renewable Energy Generators

A mechanism for small renewable generators to sell power to utilities and help contribute to California's renewable energy goals.

Net Energy Metering

A billing arrangement that enables customers who off-set all or a portion of their electricity usage with on-site generation to receive a financial credit for the “net,” or extra, energy produced by their system and fed back to the grid.

Self-Generation Incentive Program 

California's electric utility customers receive upfront and/or performance-based rebates when they install wind turbines, fuel cells, or related storage systems combined with wind turbines or fuel cells. 

Other Resources

See DRA's Renewable Jungle report for more information on the variety of California programs.