California extends self-generation support programme

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that extends until 2015 the states' Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which provides funds for a predetermined set of clean power technologies, including fuel cells, that generate electricity on-site. Manufacturer FuelCell Energy reports that the move extends the availability of incentives for clean energy technologies, including the company's stationary fuel cell power plants.

Approximately 15 MW of FuelCell Energy's Direct FuelCell power plants in California have received support since the programme's inception in 2001, says the company, with more than 9 MW of these systems using renewable biogas as their fuel.

The SGIP was created in 2001 to encourage on-site production of electricity with generation technologies that help reduce greenhouse gases while also relieving demand on the state's utility grid. The programme is administered by California's investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company and the California Center for Sustainable Energy. With over 1400 separate projects and $750 million in incentives paid to participants, the programme continues to be the largest distributed generation initiative in the nation.

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