Energy Storage Community Gathers to Generate Capitol Hill Support
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Electricity Storage Association (ESA) was joined Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), FERC Commissioner John Norris, and leading energy storage companies from across the country, at a Capitol Hill briefing to advocate for public policies that help spur energy storage innovation.
The briefing, hosted by the ESA, was held to garner support for and raise awareness about federal legislation recently introduced by Wyden, along with Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Susan Collins (R-ME) — the STORAGE Act of 2011 (S. 1845), an investment tax credit (ITC) for energy storage projects.
At the event, Sen. Wyden discussed with attendees details of the bill and his rationale for introducing a tax credit for energy storage. A panel of key stakeholder groups involved in energy storage affirmed the importance of smart policy to incentivize energy storage deployment.
“The STORAGE Act provides the missing piece to our nation’s energy equation,” said Sen. Wyden. “Increasing investments in storage technology will make renewable energy more effective, while creating a more efficient electric grid that doesn’t pick technology winners and losers. Technology neutrality lets the market decide which technologies work best. Whether it’s a billion dollar pumped hydroelectric storage project or a Smart Grid water heater in your basement, our bill provides a real incentive to get that technology connected to the electric grid sooner rather than later.”
Craig Glazer, Vice President of PJM, representing the largest system operator in the country which controls the electric grid in 13 states and Washington, D.C., said, “PJM takes a bullish position on energy storage and has tried numerous applications to test their role in the energy markets and in grid operations. We see energy storage as a long term investment for the electric grid.”
FERC Commissioner John Norris discussed how the agency can move the commercial market for innovation by ensuring that those technologies are able to receive compensation that reflects the benefits they provide to the electric grid and consumers.
Norris said, “I strongly believe that energy storage holds great promise to help make our electricity more reliable and to facilitate the achievement of important state and federal policy objectives, which include increased use of renewable energy resources and greater energy independence.”
Praveen Kathpal of AES Energy Storage, a developer, and Mike Jacobs of Xtreme Power, an advanced battery manufacturer, also participated in the discussion and highlighted various active projects on the ground, which illustrate the success of energy storage technology.
In addition to the ITC, legislative priorities for the ESA include establishment of the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA), robust research and development, and clean energy standards. The ESA has been working with Members of the House and Senate to advance these priorities, including the anticipated introduction of House companion legislation to the Wyden ITC bill.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ESA is the preeminent trade association dedicated to fostering the development and commercialization of energy storage technologies as a means to solving the nation’s energy and power challenges.
ESA’s membership is comprised of a diverse group of electric utilities; energy service companies (ESCOs); independent power producers (IPPs); energy storage technology developers and suppliers; and those in the energy storage research community. The ESA Advocacy Council currently has eleven members, including: A123 Systems, Inc., AES Energy Storage, Altairnano, Aquion Energy, Beacon Power, FIAMM, Prudent Energy Corporation, S&C Electric Company, Saft America, Inc., SustainX, and Xtreme Power. The ESA is a 501(c)(6) trade association that was formed in 1996.
SOURCE Electricity Storage Association