Lawmakers push bipartisan storage bill trio

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, December 21, 2018

House lawmakers introduced a trio of bills last week to boost energy storage technologies, which are viewed as critical for increasing renewable power.

Reps. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) released H.R. 7312, which would make loan guarantees available for battery storage technologies, and H.R. 7311, which would push electric utilities to include storage in their planning.

A third bill, H.R. 7313, would require the Department of Energy to establish a research and loan guarantee program for batteries and other technologies that sequester energy.

The move comes as companies are pressing Congress to include storage in the investment tax credit (Greenwire, Nov. 19). In a letter last week, 17 business associations sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging “a level playing field for energy storage to compete with all other energy resources made eligible for the ITC.”

They wrote, “If enacted, this language would allow our companies to better obtain financing, scale, create jobs, and become more competitive internationally in the fast-growing global storage market.”

Under current law, energy storage technologies can benefit from the ITC only when paired with certain solar projects.

Earlier this month, consultancy Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Energy Storage Association reported that the pipeline for U.S. energy storage projects doubled this year to 32.9 gigawatts, nearly meeting the industry goal of 35 GW of new projects by 2025.

There was more behind-the-meter storage deployed in the third quarter this year than all of 2017, according to the report.