U.S. Senators have introduced the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish investment tax credits (ITCs) 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 rooftop 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.
U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) introduced the legislation.
"Innovative storage technology is the tool that can help us capture the full potential of renewable resources, like wind and solar, and move us closer to achieving a cleaner, more stable and more affordable energy future,” Senator King said. “This investment tax credit will play an important role in encouraging storage innovation, supporting the growth of the industry, and helping businesses and consumers alike as they take their energy future into their own hands by investing in renewable power.”
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.
The Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act would create:
- Business Energy Investment Credit for Energy Storage: For commercial applications, the legislation 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, and compressed air, among others. To qualify for the ITC, the system must have a storage capacity of at least 5kWh. The credit allowed is the same as currently available for solar energy, including the phase down. The IRS currently allows a limited ITC for energy storage when it is installed in conjunction with a solar or wind 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 legislation 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 3kWh.
The legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
Last year, Senators King and Heinrich 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.