Sens. Gardner, Heinrich introduce bill to establish investment tax credit for energy storage

Published on April 16, 2019 by Kevin Randolph

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U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) recently introduced a bill to establish an investment tax credit (ITC) for business and home use of energy storage.

“This bipartisan legislation is just one part of our efforts to move toward a cleaner and more reliable electrical grid,” Sen. Gardner said. “Energy storage can help grid operators shift wind and solar energy to when it’s most needed, allowing us to increase the amount of renewables in our energy mix. Homeowners and businesses can use storage to smooth out their peak power usage or to ride through temporary utility outages. We have got to get the storage component right, and this tax credit is a great step in the right direction to help advance clean energy goals.”

The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2019 would establish tax incentives for large, grid-connected energy storage systems and smaller battery systems used for residential power. The proposed incentives are modeled after the current ITCs for solar energy.

The legislation is led by Sens. Heinrich and Gardner, both members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. It is co-sponsored by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jack Reed (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

It is supported by the Energy Storage Association (ESA), Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), ClearPath Action, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), National Hydropower Association (NHA) and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

“Americans want their homes and businesses to be powered by clean energy,” AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said. “Spurring investment in our country’s energy storage technologies, along with transmission, will advance clean energy, create new jobs and help bring America’s power supply into the 21st century.”  

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the United States has approximately 25,000 megawatts (MW) of installed energy storage, including more than 700 megawatts of battery storage.

“Passage of today’s bill introduced by Senators Heinrich and Gardner would be immediately impactful to the storage industry,” ESA CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman said. “Including standalone energy storage in the current investment tax credit construct will optimize deployment for all clean energy technologies and trigger long-term investment signals for the storage industry. Energy storage already supports tens of thousands of jobs in this country, with battery energy storage employment growing at a faster rate than any other energy sector job field. Equitable access to the ITC will help boost energy storage investment and create even more economic opportunity.”