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Heinrich Hosts Energy Summit on Storage Strategies For Industry And National Security

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Aug. 23, 2016) - Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, hosted the 2016 Energy Summit: Energy Storage Strategies for Industry & National Security in Albuquerque.

The event brought together more than 200 industry leaders, scientists, grid and national security experts, and featured presentations and panel discussions with representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, Sandia National Laboratories, Tesla, SolarCity, AES Energy Storage, the California Independent System Operator, Global Energy Storage Alliance, Energy Storage Association, and the San Francisco Department of the Environment. The full list of today's speakers, panelists and agenda are available here.

Thousands of New Mexicans work in the renewable energy sector, and with its incredible potential for both solar and wind and innovative research and development at our national laboratories and universities, the state is poised to become a major producer and exporter of clean power.

Storage allows energy users to time-shift power from intermittent renewable sources from peak producing hours -- noontime solar and nighttime wind -- to the hours of peak demand, allows utilities to move energy around to where it's most needed and lower costs by reducing the need to build new power plants and transmission lines, and provides backup power in case of emergencies, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and cyberattacks.

Heinrich has been working to build a more secure and robust 21st century energy infrastructure. In July, he introduced the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act to establish investment tax credits for business and home use of energy storage. Heinrich also introduced the Energy Storage Promotion and Deployment Act to create America's first energy storage standard, and he's a cosponsor of the Securing Energy Infrastructure Act to protect critical U.S. energy infrastructure from potentially catastrophic cyberattacks.

Heinrich delivered the keynote at today's summit. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good morning, and welcome to this year's Energy Summit.

I am proud to host these energy summits to bring policymakers and industry leaders together to discuss important advances in energy technology and ways we can work together to bring our state and our nation's energy generation and transmission systems into the 21st century.

I hope all of you have some energy stored up to listen to the exceptional lineup of speakers we have with us this morning.

And I'm pleased that some of you will be staying for the Energy Storage and Grid Integration Workshop hosted by Sandia.

This year's summit on energy storage is a particularly important issue.

The grid of the future won't be the same one-way street -- from central generation facilities to homes and businesses -- that it was when my dad was a lineman.

Energy storage, simply put, is the missing link in integrating renewable energy sources into our grid, building self-sustaining microgrids, and optimizing the use of all of our energy sources.

Our nation's grid is already becoming much more of a multi-directional system, where consumers are increasingly also producers, and electrons are moving in multiple directions.

In the grid of the future, businesses and households will generate and store clean power, and utilities will provide energy services and not just bulk power.

Electric cars will become another power customer and possibly offer up critical storage capacity to buffer the grid during peak use.

With generation points and backup power decentralized, our power system will become more efficient, cleaner, and more reliable.

Grid-scale energy storage will shave peak periods, bolster system resilience during emergencies and outages, provide valuable supplemental services, and displace new investment in expensive generating stations and transmission lines.

This is truly an exciting moment for energy storage technology.

Decades of research and development done by scientists and engineers at places like Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories here in the New Mexico have culminated in the emergence of innovative storage technologies that are now being brought to market at both the utility scale and behind the meter for business and residential consumers.

Today, we will hear from some of our panelists who will talk about the exciting storage applications coming from their companies like Tesla, AES Energy, and SolarCity.

Pumped hydro flywheel and flow battery storage systems are operating across the nation, and rapidly advancing technologies like lithium ion batteries are driving the market forward.

In 2015, over 220 megawatts of new energy storage was deployed, more than triple the 2014 level.

The behind-the-meter market alone grew an astounding 400 percent in 2015.

This is part of a larger sea change.

Competitive prices and customer demand for clean sources of energy and the rapidly declining cost of energy storage are transforming our energy systems right before our eyes.

I'm confident that with forward looking state and federal policies, we can position New Mexico and the nation to take advantage of this new energy landscape.

If we can embrace and invest in new technologies like storage, meeting our climate goals will also mean creating thousands of good-paying jobs for American workers.

Think about this...

Because storage technologies tend to be extremely heavy, they need to be manufactured close to their deployment.

Solar cells are light and can be manufactured anywhere and shipped worldwide.

Lithium ion batters, as well as other competing chemistries and technologies, will be manufactured domestically to meet American demand.

New Mexico is at the center of this changing landscape.

Thousands of New Mexicans already work in the clean energy sector.

And with our immense potential for both solar and wind production, our national labs and research institutions, and a clean energy workforce being trained at our universities and technical colleges, New Mexico can and should be a major producer and exporter of clean power.

We are already seeing this happen.

"Wind technician" is the fastest growing job in the nation today.

A few months ago, I visited the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari and climbed up to the top of their 1.5 megawatt wind turbine, which is training students for jobs in the wind farms in eastern New Mexico.

In just the last few months, we've seen a new transmission line green lighted to connect nearly 500 megawatts of wind power generated by the Broadview and Grady Wind Farms near Clovis to the grid leading all the way out to markets in California.

Santa Fe Community College, where we hosted last year's Energy Summit, is working with the Microgrid Systems Lab in Santa Fe to develop both the technology and the workforce to construct the decentralized and sustainable grid of the future.

Some of the premier demonstration projects for microgrid, renewable energy, and storage technologies are right here in New Mexico, including the Los Alamos Smart House and the PNM Prosperity Project.

And materials scientists at the University of New Mexico here in Albuquerque are partnering with Sandia and private businesses in collaborative research and development to create the advanced materials that will shape our clean energy future.

The recent news that Facebook is considering building a new data center in Los Lunas powered entirely by renewable energy is just the latest demonstration of how New Mexico's great solar and wind potential, not to mention our moderate climate and access to fiber, makes us an ideal site for major businesses looking to use clean and cost-effective energy.

Wide-scale deployment of energy storage is the next major step that will move us toward the energy production and distribution of tomorrow, and it can bring thousands of new jobs to places like New Mexico.

In a two-way, decentralized electrical grid, storage helps match the supply and demand of energy across space and time.

Storage allows us to time-shift power from intermittent renewable sources from peak producing hours -- noontime solar and nighttime wind -- to the hours of peak demand.

It allows utilities to move energy around to where it's most needed and avoid new costs by reducing the need to build new power plants and new transmission lines.

And it can help provide backup power during emergencies like hurricanes, earthquakes, and cyber-attacks.
I can't emphasize this enough: innovative storage technology can literally save lives.

One great example of this was the work done by Sandia scientists in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

They developed strategies to improve reliability and resiliency of local electric grids and infrastructure in New Jersey.

Storage can help ensure that electricity can be maintained for hospitals, critical government services, and emergency response in times of crisis.

Deployment of storage and a more distributed and decentralized grid can help lessen the impact of an outage, whether it's caused by a lightning strike, another type of natural disaster, or a malicious cyberattack.

New threats to our grid, like cyber-attacks, make it imperative for us to find every means possible to shore up security for our energy infrastructure and utilize new storage technologies to ensure resilience.

We have also seen important applications of storage for our nation's military.

Back when I was in the House of Representatives, I passed legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act that established the first-ever pilot program to establish microgrids on our military bases.

Microgrids make our military bases more energy efficient and self-sufficient.

And renewable energy and storage technologies have great potential uses in the battlefield itself.

Generating and storing renewable energy in the field protects our soldiers' safety by reducing the need to risk life and limb to transport fuel to our troops and forward operating bases in hostile territory.

All of these incredible applications of energy storage, microgrids, and distributed energy technologies point to the fact that storage is no longer theoretical or in the research and development phase.

Storage is here today and will play an increasingly important role in the way we manage energy generation and distribution.

As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I'm working to help integrate energy storage into the grid as part of a larger effort to make grid modernization and energy policy a bipartisan cause.

Last year, I introduced the Energy Storage Promotion and Deployment Act, which would establish an energy storage portfolio standard for utilities nationwide.

My bill would set national targets for energy storage in order to meet the growing demand on the electric grid and encourage the integration of solar and wind energy.

We are already seeing the success of this approach in California and Oregon, where they have set state based goals.
And earlier this month, Massachusetts passed a bill that would set similar goals for storage deployment.

Last month, I also introduced the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act with my Republican colleague Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.

This bipartisan bill would create tax credits for business and home use of energy storage modeled after the successful business and residential solar tax credits.

I was proud to play a key role last year in passing both a five-year retroactive extension of the Production Tax Credit for wind and a five-year extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit.

These major victories for wind and solar will create and preserve jobs in New Mexico and across our nation and build on clean energy's upward trajectory.

And their success will serve as an example for how we can attract investment in storage.

Policy does matter, and our system of power transmission and regulation were designed for an era that no longer exists. Rules must be updated not only to reflect the rapidly evolving grid, but also to create the legal structures to allow storage services to be sold into the market.

Energy storage should be permitted to participate in power markets on a level playing field with all the alternatives.

And at least initially, getting state-based rules right and facilitating revenue stacking of storage services will be key to driving storage integration.

That's why it's so important that we have innovative state and county leaders from New Mexico and across the nation here in attendance.

I believe that utilities and energy producers have a responsibility to adapt and adopt new technologies to improve the grid.

And policymakers and regulators need to help our communities embrace the opportunities before us to bring our energy production into the 21st century.

Smooth integration and deployment of storage will fundamentally reshape our energy systems for the better.

As we get ready for a day full of discussions and ideas about the future of energy storage and our electric grid, I want to take a moment to thank each of you for the innovative work you are already doing.

And I'd also like to take this opportunity to call on each of you here today, whether you are here representing industry, utilities, state and local governments, or federal research laboratories, to aggressively pursue the opportunities energy storage presents.

We've seen solar and wind improve and grow in leaps and bounds over the last decade both here in New Mexico and across our nation.

In fact, in the first quarter of 2016, over 99 percent of the power added to our grid was carbon-free renewable energy.

And while we still have work ahead of us to make New Mexico the national leader in renewable energy production, storage is the next frontier.

We all know that reducing energy consumption and modernizing our nation's electric grid isn't just about creating thousands of new jobs, or harnessing our clean energy potential in America.

It is also about meeting our moral imperative to cut carbon pollution and mitigate the devastating and costly consequences of climate change, from longer droughts, larger forest fires, and increased floods. 

With the scientists, engineers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders we have in this room, I'm confident we can and will meet the challenges before us.

Thank you, everyone. It is now my pleasure to introduce our next speaker, Melanie Kenderline.

She serves as the Director of the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis and Energy Counselor to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

She will be focusing today on how energy storage plays a role in grid modernization by helping protect our national security in the face of cyber threats and climate change.

She has long been a leader in the energy policy world, previously at the MIT Energy Initiative, the Gas Technology Institute, and in the Clinton administration at the Department of Energy.

She is a proud graduate of the University of New Mexico. She served as Bill Richardson's Chief of Staff and Legislative Director when he served as Northern New Mexico's congressman.

Please join me in welcoming her home to the Land of Enchantment.