September 25, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, applauded the Committee’s passage of his bipartisan legislation seeking to increase the reliability of renewable energy and bolster America’s national security efforts. The Senator’s bill, which was advanced by the Senate committee as part of a larger energy storage package, 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 long duration energy storage technologies become viable, reduce bureaucratic barriers to interaction, and increase opportunities for researchers in both agencies to build on the progress of their colleagues.
“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.”
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, which Senator King introduced with Senator Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), was included as an amendment to the Better Energy Storage Technology (Best) Act, which is sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). The King-McSally legislation has been praised by Department of Energy officials, who said the bill “significantly expands our capability to leverage the expertise within DOE and our National Labs”.