WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 11, 2019) - U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced the bipartisan Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2019 to establish an investment tax credit (ITC) for business and home use of energy storage.
“I continue to be incredibly excited by the potential for innovative energy storage technologies to improve the efficiency, reliability and resilience of our electric delivery systems that power homes and businesses. Over the last few years, storage technology has dramatically reduced costs while increasing our ability to manage grid supply and demand,” said Senator Heinrich. “The deployment of energy storage needs to be at the center of our ongoing effort to move toward a cleaner and more reliable electrical grid. This bipartisan bill will make it easier and more affordable to utilize energy storage technologies that will strengthen the renewable energy sector and support the thousands of clean energy jobs in New Mexico.”
“This bipartisan legislation is just one part of our efforts to move toward a cleaner and more reliable electrical grid,” said Senator Gardner. “Energy storage can help grid operators shift wind and solar energy to when it’s most needed, allowing us to increase the amount of renewables in our energy mix. Homeowners and businesses can use storage to smooth out their peak power usage or to ride through temporary utility outages. We have got to get the storage component right, and this tax credit is a great step in the right direction to help advance clean energy goals.”
The bipartisan Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act is supported by the Energy Storage Association (ESA), as well as the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), ClearPath Action, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), National Hydropower Association (NHA), and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
“Passage of today’s bill introduced by Senators Heinrich and Gardner would be immediately impactful to the storage industry,” said Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman. “Including standalone energy storage in the current investment tax credit construct will optimize deployment for all clean energy technologies and trigger long-term investment signals for the storage industry. Energy storage already supports tens of thousands of jobs in this country, with battery energy storage employment growing at a faster rate than any other energy sector job field. Equitable access to the ITC will help boost energy storage investment and create even more economic opportunity.”
Energy storage complements intermittent renewable resources, such as wind and solar to increase full-time availability, provide backup power in case of emergencies, and help reduce the need for high-cost power during periods of peak demand--such as during the coldest mornings or hottest afternoons. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are about 25,000 megawatts of installed energy storage in the United States, including over 700 megawatts of battery storage.
The proposed tax incentives are modeled on the current ITCs for solar energy and apply to either large, grid-connected energy storage systems or to smaller battery systems for residential power. Home battery storage, coupled with a small wind or roof-top solar system, could be used to store energy during the day for use later in the day or during overcast skies and to help consumers reduce their energy bills. The bipartisan legislation led by Heinrich and Gardner is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).
A copy of the bill is available here.