Bipartisan bill would allow credit for energy storage

Source: By Jeremy Dillon, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) reintroduced legislation yesterday that would extend the investment tax credit to energy storage technologies.

Long hailed as the “holy grail” of energy, storage technologies — like grid-scale batteries and pumped hydropower — have the potential to unleash more renewable energy onto the grid.

“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,” Heinrich said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

A companion bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.).

Congress included provisions dedicated to expanding Department of Energy research and deployment authorizations for the storage as part of the year end pandemic relief and spending bill.

Largely based on Collins’ legislation, that package included mandates for at least four demonstration projects over the next decade.

“Supporting current technology and advancing next-generation energy storage will allow us to integrate more renewables, and in turn, will help to reduce emissions,” Collins said.

All energy storage technologies would qualify under the new bill, including batteries, pumped hydropower, thermal storage and hydrogen storage, the Energy Storage Association said.

The Ways and Means Committee included the credit as part of its green energy tax package. That bill was introduced last month and is expected to play a large role in upcoming infrastructure negotiations (Greenwire, Feb. 5).

“We urge Congress to follow the bipartisan example set today and pass this legislation to put storage on the same playing field as other clean energy technologies,” Jason Burwen, interim CEO of ESA. “If it does, we can power the economic recovery with jobs that build a cleaner, more resilient future for all.”