US senators introduce energy storage bill

29. May 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends, Storage & smart grids | By:  Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger

U.S. Senators have introduced a Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy Act for 2013. This Act, also known as the STORAGE Act, will promote the deployment of energy storage technologies in the U.S. All storage technologies are supported by the bill.

The STORAGE Act of 2013 is to support the development of renewable energy and lower consumer costs.

The Act provides a 20% investment tax credit of up to US$40 million per project for storage systems that are connected to the grid and distribution system.The total amount available for these projects is capped at $1.5 billion.

For on-site storage a 30% investment tax credit, of up to $1 million per project, is offered under the Act.

The STORAGE 2013 Act is similar to the STORAGE 2011 Act in a sense that it offers investment tax credits for energy storage facilities.  However ammendments have been made to the 2013 Act as highlighted by the bipartisan group of senators who introduced the Act last week.

The minimum size for a storage system to be eligible for credit is now 5 kWh. It was 20 kWh before. This thus makes sense for small businesses to participate and the hope is that it will incentivize storage companies to create leasing models for residential users considering how leasing models have been successful at increasing grid-connected residential solar in the U.S.

Home owners can also install their own storage solutions. The Act will provide for 30% tax credit for homeowners for on-site energy storage to store off-peak electricity from solar panels for use when needed during peak hours.

"Building out more energy storage will increase the amount of renewable power on the grid, reduce our country’s need for new power plants and make the U.S. energy system more reliable," U.S. senator Ron Wyden said. "These systems don’t make energy – they make energy better. With all of the attention given to new sources of power, it’s only appropriate that energy storage gets its time in the sun."

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, Susan Collins, Jeff Merkley and Angus King have stated that the introduction of the STORAGE Act of 2013 is to support the development of renewable energy and lower consumer costs.


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