WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2017 - Legislation being considered in the Senate would help strengthen the nation’s grid by offering tax incentives for storage system investment. The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Energy and Natural Resources Committee member Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., to establish tax credits, as there are currently none for the technology.      

“I continue to be incredibly excited by the potential for innovative energy storage technologies to improve the efficiency, reliability and resiliency of our electric delivery systems that power homes and businesses,” Heinrich said. “Widespread use of energy storage could help integrate renewable energy sources into our grid, support more robust microgrids, and optimize the operation of all types of power-generating sources. 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.” 

Heinrich advocated for the bill during a recent Energy Committee hearing, arguing that the measure would help stimulate integration of energy storage into the nation’s grid.

“In a state with immense renewable energy potential, like Nevada, utilizing energy storage technologies are important to the affordability, efficiency and reliability of our electrical grid,” said Heller. “The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act will not only attract investments to our state but will also allow for our constituents to see real savings in their monthly bills.”

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 a recent DOE study, there are about 25,000 megawatts of installed energy storage in the United States.                                                         

The proposed tax incentives in Senate Bill 1868 are modeled on the current tax credits 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 periods of overcast skies and to help consumers reduce their energy bills.

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