May 27, 2015
PORTLAND, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced today that he and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) have introduced the Energy Storage Promotion and Deployment Act, legislation that would establish an energy storage portfolio standard for electric utility companies. A utility may meet the standard with any combination of technologies and ownership, including storage located at homes or businesses.
The bill 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. Increased use of energy storage can improve reliability, lower costs, and defer or reduce the need to invest in infrastructure, such as new power lines. Additionally, energy storage is instrumental for emergency preparedness because of its ability to provide backup power.
“In the all-important shift towards renewable energy sources, storage is the missing link that can help propel us towards a sustainable and responsible energy future,” said Senator King. “When the sun's not shining and the wind's not blowing, innovative storage technologies can ensure that we will always have the ability to harness the power of these invaluable energy sources. Storage can make all the difference as we increasingly look to renewables to power our lives, and this bill is the forward-thinking approach we need.”
The Energy Storage Promotion and Deployment Act requires most state-regulated utilities by the end of 2024 to have sufficient new energy storage available on their system to provide at least two percent of the maximum power level they deliver to consumers. A utility may meet the standard with any combination of storage technologies and ownership, including storage located at homes or businesses, as well as energy storage systems, including thermal storage, used in conjunction with demand-response or time-of-day pricing programs. The concept is similar to the renewable energy standards many states, including Maine, now have.
The Energy Storage Promotion and Deployment Act is modeled on a successful program in California, which requires three large utility companies – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric – to deploy at least 1,325 megawatts of storage by the end of 2024.
The legislation would create a two-step Primary Portfolio Standard for Capacity:
Tesla recently unveiled a lower-cost battery storage system last month that is expected to revolutionize the industry. Sales of energy storage are growing dramatically as prices continue to decline sharply. According to the Energy Storage Association, annual installations are projected to grow from about 340 megawatts of power to 6,000 megawatts in just the next three years.
A copy of the Energy Storage Promotion and Deployment Act is available HERE.