Last week US Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced a bill with bipartisan cosponsored by Dean Heller( R-NV) and others to create investment tax credits (ITC) for energy storage systems like battery systems, which would make them less expensive and more attractive for customers, while also helping job growth and the economy. The new bill, the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (S. 3159), would extend the ITC to energy storage systems both for homes and commercial systems, allowing system owners to store excess electricity produced by solar energy or other sources and use it to lower their energy costs and help balance electricity on the 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 Sen. 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. I'd like to thank Senator Heinrich for his leadership on this bipartisan legislation."
"As generation and storage technologies improve and become less expensive in the coming years, economics will drive new electrical generation consistently in the direction of clean, pollution-free power,” Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, added. “This bipartisan bill will ensure federal policy supports the integration of emerging storage technologies into our nation's energy grid.”
For commercial projects solar energy tax incentives apply to all energy storage technologies including batteries, flywheels, pumped hydro, thermal energy and compressed air. To qualify, the system must have at least 5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of storage capacity. Home energy storage systems are beginning to take off and the market will likely grow over the next 10 years but currently available incentives only encourage homeowners to invest in solar. Under the new bill, only battery storage is eligible for the tax incentive and the system must have a storage capacity of at least 3 kWh.
The bill already has industry support from groups including the Energy Storage Association, the National Electrical Contractors Association, and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. "Extending the investment tax credit to energy storage is critical to accelerate transition to a flexible, efficient and resilient U.S. electric grid," said Matt Robert, Executive Director of the Energy Storage Association. "This legislation demonstrates there is bipartisan agreement that reducing tax burdens on innovators and opening new opportunities for utilities, businesses and households to invest in intelligent energy systems is an effective way to modernize our energy infrastructure and create a cleaner, more reliable electric grid."
Other Senators who cosponsored the bill are Brian Schatz, (D-HI); Al Franken, (D-MN).; Jeff Merkley, (D-OR); Angus King, (I-Maine); Jack Reed, (D-RI); and Mazie K. Hirono, (D-HI).Tweet