WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) have introduced legislation to offer tax credits for the creation of renewable energy storage.

The Storage Technology of Renewable and Green Energy Act of 2010 (STORAGE 2010 Act) would offer up to $1.5 billion in tax credits to storage projects that are connected to the U.S. electric grid. According to the senators, increasing energy storage capacity would help promote intermittent energy sources like wind and solar power while reducing energy demands during peak hours and contributing to an overall more reliable electric grid.

“The increased use of these cutting-edge storage technologies is essential to modernizing our electrical grid and to meeting our clean energy goals. Expanding our storage capacity will improve the efficiency, flexibility, and reliability of our electric grid, allowing us to wring the most power out of it, while adding large amounts of new renewable energy resources like wind and solar,” said Bingaman, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and who is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “In addition, these incentives will make technologies to store renewable energy more affordable for businesses and homes, which could help dramatically cut their electricity bills and reduce pollution.”

The STORAGE 2010 Act offers an investment tax credit for three categories of energy storage facilities that temporarily store energy for delivery or use at a later time. It will also provide tax credits to businesses and homeowners who install energy storage on their own property to help serve their own energy needs more efficiently or capture energy from on-site renewable energy generation. Building owners can also use the tax credit to help finance thermal cooling systems, which would make ice at night when electricity is cheaper and use the ice to cool the building during the day.

The STORAGE 2010 Act will provide a 20 percent investment tax credit of up to $30 million for storage systems connected to the electric grid. The bill will also provide a 30 percent investment tax credit of up to $1 million to businesses, and a 30 percent tax credit for homeowners, for on-site storage projects.

Publication date:08/09/2010