Washington, DC – (RealEstateRama) — As our electrical grid is modernized and more renewable energy sources come on-line, the next wave of modernization is energy storage, which will allow residential and commercial consumers to stabilize utility costs, while providing consistent power, even during outages or brownouts.
With that in mind, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley, Calif.) recently introduced H.R. 5350, the bipartisan Energy Storage for Grid Resilience and Modernization Act. Honda was joined by Reps. Chris Gibson (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mark Takano (D-CA). The legislation will provide the same tax credit that renewable energy installations get, for those companies and homes who install energy storage facilities.
“We must create better infrastructure in our nation, including our electrical grid,” said Honda. “Tax credits will help create a market-based solution to increase the use of both energy storage and renewable energy. This legislation will help America become energy independent and help create good, family-wage jobs in a sustainable industry. I’m proud to sponsor it, along with my colleagues.”
Energy storage systems allow businesses and consumers to keep excess energy generated when energy is in low demand and then use it during periods of peak demand, reducing consumers’ electricity bills and greatly enhancing the reliability of alternative energy sources.
“We care about creating sustainable, reliable and affordable energy for families and businesses across our nation,” said Reed. “This bipartisan bill provides a commonsense approach to meeting our evolving energy demands. It is only right that we work across the aisle to overcome our energy challenges and we believe this legislation is part of that solution. We appreciate Congressman Honda’s leadership on this issue and are glad to join him in this effort.”
H.R. 5350 will clarify the tax code by making it explicit that both businesses and individuals would be eligible for tax credits. Businesses and factories that generate energy through batteries would be eligible for a 30 percent tax credit. Households and businesses that purchase energy storage systems for their property would also be eligible for a 30 percent tax credit.
“Making energy storage technology more accessible to businesses and consumers is a critical component of our efforts to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and lower our utility bills,” said Gibson. “This legislation removes barriers to advancing innovation in energy efficiency and transmission and creating jobs. I am proud to partner with Congressmen Honda, Reed, and Takano in advocating for its adoption.”
While battery storage systems are widely recognized as facilitating wider use of renewable power, they offer a range of benefits to the grid including providing reliability and resilience to the grid during times of peak demand and extreme weather.
“Battery energy storage is a transformational technology capable of changing the energy landscape,” said Takano. “Supporting its development will help create a grid that is more secure, more reliable and more affordable for consumers. Perhaps most importantly, battery storage is compatible with any source of energy, which will allow us to leverage the full array of renewable and traditional energy sources needed to power the nation.”
The legislation is also supported by numerous industry groups, including the Energy Storage Association, the National Hydropower Association, Enphase Energy, STEM Inc., Green Charge Networks and Imergy Power Systems.
“The Energy Storage Act of 2016 ensures that all types of advanced energy storage systems have increased access to investment capital and can be deployed competitively either as a standalone resource or integrated into a microgrid or renewable energy system,” said Energy Storage Association Executive Director Matt Roberts. “We thank Representative Honda, Representative Gibson, Representative Reed, and Representative Takano for their bipartisan leadership in proposing this important legislation.
“We are grateful for Congressman Honda’s commitment to clean energy,” said Paul Nahi, CEO of Enphase Energy. “He is a leader that clearly understands the critical importance of energy storage and its role in making the grid more reliable and for providing a secure energy future. This bill cannot come at a more urgent time considering the fragility of the grid and increasing frequency of weather events that threaten the lifeblood of our nation.”
“The National Hydropower Association (NHA) is pleased to support the Energy Storage for Grid Resilience and Modernization Act of 2016 and applauds Reps. Honda and Gibson for their leadership on the bill,” said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the NHA. “While pumped storage hydropower already comprises 97 percent of U.S. energy storage capacity, electric grid operators continue to highlight the need for additional energy storage resources to provide the necessary flexibility and reliability to the system.”
“Stem stands behind the efforts of Rep. Honda and his colleagues in Congress to introduce a bipartisan bill that promises to create jobs and propel energy storage into its next phase of growth,” said John Carrington, CEO of Stem. “This effort underscores the continued commitment from Congress to create a robust and sustainable market for energy storage and make clean energy a pillar of the U.S. economy.”
The Energy Storage for Grid Resilience and Modernization Act has been assigned to the Committee on Ways and Means for a hearing and for markup, before it is voted on by the entire House of Representatives.