March 13, 2019

Rep. Takano Introduces Legislation to Expand Clean Energy Storage and Launches Bipartisan Advanced Energy Storage Caucus

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif), together with Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), introduced three pieces of legislation to expand clean battery energy storage and launched the bipartisan Advanced Energy Storage Caucus to promote understanding of energy storage systems. The energy storage legislative package introduced includes the Storage Technology for Operational Readiness and Generating Energy Act (STORAGE Act), Battery Storage Innovation Act, and the Advancing Grid Storage Act

“Americans are looking for Congressional action on environmental causes and expansion of clean and affordable renewable energy that moves us away from dependence on fossil fuels and unsustainable energy sources,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “This legislative package is a bold environmental effort that will help address those concerns – battery energy storage is the future of renewable energy, and cheap grid scale storage means that renewables can compete with fossil fuels on cost alone. We must explore battery energy storage and invest in it to improve America’s energy infrastructure and make our national grid more secure. Thank you to my partner on this issue, Rep. Collins, who is supportive of this legislation and is helping me lead the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus to advocate for policies that promote battery storage technology.”

According to the Energy Storage Association, more than 60 million Americans in 13 states and Washington, D.C. rely on energy storage systems as an affordable energy source. As renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, become more cost effective and are widely utilized, it is critical to maximize usage of renewables and eliminate the problem of reliability gaps that occur when, for example, the sun isn’t shining, or the wind isn’t blowing. Batteries would present a cost-effective, green solution for reliability gaps in storing renewables.

“Across the nation, states are facing an aging energy grid that is becoming unreliable as demand continues to grow for both the residential and commercial sectors,” said Rep. Collins. “It is vital that Congress focuses on energy storage technology that is uniquely suited to address infrastructure and energy challenges that our country will continue to face in the coming years.  This is why we have introduced the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus to work with industry leaders in promoting further research and development of battery storage technologies to ensure the United States can operate on a reliable and resilient energy grid.” 

Battery energy storage is transformative technology that can lead to a cleaner, safer, more reliable, and affordable energy grid. Battery storage technology, paired with renewables like wind and solar, has the power to transform the energy landscape. It can save consumers money, keep the national grid safer and more secure, and promote cleaner energy sources. In California, the three largest utilities are mandated to get 33% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020, which has been led to a series of new projects designed to test and scale battery storage technologies.

The University of California, Riverside, is currently working with the local utility on a battery storage project that will show researchers, utilities, regulators and the public how a fully integrated and scaled system can work.

The STORAGE Act amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to add energy storage systems to the list of strategies states should consider when developing energy plans and using its utility ratemaking authority. The Battery Storage Innovation Act expands the categories of projects that are eligible for innovative technology loan guarantees to include a category of projects for battery storage technologies for residential, industrial, or transportation applications. And the Advancing Grid Storage Act requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish certain energy storage programs.

The bipartisan Advanced Energy Storage Caucus will serve as a way for Members of Congress to advance the understanding of energy storage systems and how those systems are allowing Americans to access reliable and sustainable electric power. From renewable energy sources to storage technology, the Members of this Caucus will address initiatives to tackle challenges in our nation’s aging energy infrastructure. 


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