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July 08, 2019

King, McSally Lead Push to Increase America’s Long-Term Energy Storage Capacity

Longer lasting batteries will increase impact of renewable energy, improve grid reliability and national security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), both members of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, announced the introduction of the Joint Long-Term Storage Act, bipartisan legislation seeking to improve long-duration energy storage technology through strategic collaboration between federal agencies. Specifically, the legislation would establish a joint program between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to maximize the use of federal research funding to help technologies become viable, reduce bureaucratic barriers to interaction, and increase opportunities for researchers in both agencies to build on the progress of their colleagues.

The expanded availability of long-duration energy storage will increase the impact of renewable energy by allowing consumers to store excess energy for use during non-peak production hours. In addition, long-duration energy storage will increase our grid reliability by increasing the reliability of renewable energy, and bolster our national security by reducing the need for our military to transport flammable liquid fuels. The transportation of these fuels through dangerous territory puts servicemembers in danger.

“Storage is the key to fully unlocking the immense potential of renewable energy, giving us options when the clouds are out and the skies are still,” said Senator King. “Effective and long-lasting energy storage technology will reduce our carbon footprint, increase the reliability of our electric grid, and improve our national security – in short, it will make a major difference in the lives of the American people. This legislation will maximize our important investments in this field, so researchers from different departments can work from the best information available to advance their shared goal. Because it doesn’t matter who gets the credit – it matters that we take a step forward that makes our energy grid cleaner and safer.”

“In addition to advancing Arizona’s clean energy leadership, breakthroughs in long-term energy storage technology can improve the safety and resiliency of our military installations,” said Senator McSally. “By leveraging the joint expertise of both the Department of Energy and Defense, this legislation will ensure federal research dollars are used efficiently and effectively.”

“MREA is happy to see Senator King continue to take a lead role in reshaping our energy future through well-informed proposals like advocating for more use of storage technologies,” said Jeremy Payne, Executive Director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association.

A forceful advocate for clean energy solutions, Senator King successfully advocated for the inclusion of funding for storage projects in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act which passed the Senate last month. The bill includes $10 million in funding for on-base long duration energy storage projects that will last for at least 100 hours. He also secured a provision authorizing $10 million to be spent on the development, demonstration and validation of secure microgrids for both installations and forward operating bases. He has also cosponsored the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act, bipartisan legislation which would establish an investment tax credit (ITC) for business and home use of energy storage.

The Joint Long Term Storage Act is supported by the Energy Storage Association, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Maine Renewable Energy Association. A one-pager describing the legislation is available HERE.

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