Bipartisan duo to launch House battery storage caucus

Source: Geof Koss, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A pair of House lawmakers from opposite sides of the country and different parties this week will launch a new caucus focused on energy storage.

Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) will officially kick off the Congressional Battery Energy Storage Caucus tomorrow afternoon, during an event featuring the Energy Storage Association and representatives of storage companies.

The caucus will be “dedicated to advancing understanding of how energy storage systems are enabling American businesses and homeowners to better access reliable, affordable, and sustainable electric power,” according to a recent¬†Dear Colleague letter¬†the pair circulated.

Interest in energy batteries has soared in recent months, with Tesla Energy’s introduction of a home storage unit. Moody’s Investors Service last month forecast that growing capacity and falling prices could give a major boost to renewable production within the next five years (EnergyWire, Sept. 29).

According to the caucus co-founders, more than 200 megawatts of storage capacity is expected to come online this year, an amount that equals the total installed from 2012 to 2014. That figure could grow to 1,000 MW annually by 2020.

The caucus will work to educate members and staff on advances in technology and market trends through periodic briefings with experts and industry.

Both lawmakers hold committee posts that have jurisdictional relevance to energy storage. Collins is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, while Takano sits on the Science, Space and Technology Committee.