Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced the launch of its Microgrid Incentive Program (MIP) and handbook, providing funding, expertise and guidance for building community, local and tribal government-proposed multi-customer microgrids.
The MIP is a new, statewide $200 million competitive grant program that will fund clean-energy community microgrids in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
A community microgrid’s distributed energy resources can also participate in the statewide wholesale market for energy and related services — creating a potential source of earnings for the asset owner and providing an additional buffer for the California grid.
The MIP stands beside PG&E’s Community Microgrid Enablement Program (CMEP), and together the two programs provide comprehensive financial and technical support for both the distributed energy resources and other costs necessary to develop and energize eligible microgrids, as well as the electric distribution system upgrades necessary to enable the safe islanding of the microgrid. Interested parties can apply for either one individually or for both programs together.
“PG&E is paving the way for more community-proposed microgrids to be constructed in our service area through the Community Microgrid Enablement Program and Tariff, and the Microgrid Incentive Program will now also play a key role in advancing the development and facilitating the commercialization of clean-energy microgrids,” said Jason Glickman, executive VP of engineering, planning and strategy at PG&E. “Several additional large-scale, community microgrids are expected to be deployed throughout PG&E’s Northern and Central California service area under the Microgrid Incentive Program over the next several years, and we look forward to continue engaging with customers and communities to bring these resilience solutions to our hometowns.”
The Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid is the first fully renewable, multi-customer microgrid deployed in PG&E’s service area. It serves as the model for additional multi-customer microgrids to be deployed in California, and the Community Microgrid Enablement Tariff was also a product of its development.
“Developing the Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid was an incredible team effort. We are proud that an unwavering focus on replicability resulted in policies and processes that are broadly applicable,” said David Carter, technical lead for RCAM and principal engineer at the Schatz Energy Research Center. “We commend PG&E and the Redwood Coast Energy Authority for forging a new partnership model that empowers communities to play an active role in decarbonizing their electricity supply and increasing their local resilience.”
Since 2021, PG&E has engaged with more than three dozen communities to explore potential financial and infrastructure support options for developing microgrids through the CMEP. PG&E provides technical and financial support on a prioritized basis for qualifying projects in areas with the greatest energy resilience needs.
About the Microgrid Incentive Program Handbook and Upcoming Webinars
The MIP Handbook includes information about all the incentives and allowances available, including details on eligibility, how to apply for funding and the process for development of a community microgrid.
Target applicants include local and tribal governments and community-based organizations, which will partner with project developers and technical firms to design, develop, and operate the microgrids. Eligible project locations include rural, tribal, and low-income communities with greater energy resilience needs. Specific eligibility criteria are described in the handbook.
For communities interested in exploring developing a multi-customer microgrid, PG&E is hosting two upcoming webinars about the MIP:
For the first MIP application window, PG&E requires interested parties to submit MIP project ideas by December 31, 2023, through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
News item from PG&E