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September 28, 2017

King Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Establish Investment Tax Credit for Energy Storage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today announced his support for the  Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation that would establish an investment tax credit (ITC) for business and home use of energy storage.  The proposed tax incentives are modeled on the current ITCs for solar energy and would apply to either large, grid-connected energy storage systems or to smaller battery systems for residential power. Home battery storage, coupled with small wind or roof-top solar system, could be used to store energy during the day for use later in the day or during overcast skies and can help consumers reduce their energy bills.

            “Encouraging storage innovation is critical to furthering energy independence and moving our country towards clean, stable energy opportunities,” Senator King said. “This investment tax credit will help make energy storage technologies more affordable for Maine businesses and homes and support a more resilient electric grid.”

Energy storage complements intermittent renewable resources, such as wind and solar to increase full-time availability, provide backup power in case of emergencies, and help reduce the need for high-cost power during periods of peak demand--such as during the coldest mornings or hottest afternoons. According to a recent U.S. Department of Energy study, there are about 25,000 megawatts of installed energy storage in the United States.  

Highlights of the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act

  • Business Energy Investment Credit for Energy Storage - For commercial applications, the bill provides the same tax incentive as currently available for solar energy in section 48 of the IRS code.  All energy storage technologies would qualify, including batteries, flywheels, pumped hydro, thermal energy, compressed air, etc.  To qualify for the ITC, the system must have a storage capacity of at least 5 kilowatt-hours.  The credit allowed is the same as currently available for solar energy, including the phase down, as shown in the table, below.  The IRS currently allows an ITC for energy storage when it is installed in conjunction with a solar energy system.  The bill would extend the ITC for any energy storage project in all applications, including consumer-owned, grid-connected, or off-grid.  
  • Residential Energy Property Tax Credit for Energy Storage - For residential applications, the bill provides homeowners the same credit as currently available for solar energy in section 25D.  However, only battery storage is eligible for the residential ITC, and the system must have a storage capacity of at least 3 kilowatt-hours.  As shown in the table, the ITC phases out over five years. 

Senators King and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced a version of this bill last year. In 2015, the Senators also introduced legislation that would set national targets for energy storage in order to meet the growing demand on the electric grid and encourage the integration of solar and wind energy. Senator King also introduced the Free Market Energy Act, which establish a set of parameters for the governance of distributed energy resources, like storage, solar, and wind.

The legislation is also supported by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).

A copy of the bill is available HERE



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