The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), on behalf of its Energy Storage Council, recently endorsed legislation that will spur the deployment of cutting-edge energy storage technologies. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced The Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy (STORAGE) Act of 2011 (S 1845), a set of investment tax credits to promote adoption of the spectrum of energy storage technologies. Batteries, flywheels, superconducting magnetic energy storage, and other technologies would all be eligible under the legislation.

“The ability to store energy during times of low demand and deploy it during peak demand reduces costs, improves efficiency, and precludes the need for new electrical generation,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis. “By remaining technology neutral, the STORAGE Act promotes competition in the electroindustry and allows the marketplace to determine which technologies are best suited for any given application.”

S 1845 would offer a 20% investment tax credit to energy storage used in connection with the power grid, with no project eligible to receive more than $40 million. To promote efficiency and distributed generation in the commercial and residential markets, the bill offers a 30 percent credit (up to $1 million) for on-site application of energy storage.

Energy storage helps to meet many consumer demands: rate minimization due to foregone construction of new power plants; efficiency of grid operations, including microgrids; integration of renewables; reduced emissions; energy management; and energy security.

“Energy storage innovation is developing rapidly and the United States has a real opportunity to lead the world in the design and manufacture of these technologies and the jobs that go with it,” said Jim Creevy, NEMA director of government relations. “With other countries like China also heavily engaged, this legislation would go a long way to making continued U.S. leadership in this industry a reality.”