U.S. Senators Introduce Bill for Energy-Storage Tax Incentives

Four U.S. Senators proposed legislation offering tax incentives to homeowners and companies that install energy-storage systems in an effort to boost investment in renewable power.

The bill would provide a 30 percent tax credit, capped at $1 million per project, to homeowners and businesses that use power-storage equipment, according to a statement today from Senators Ron Wyden and Jeffrey Merkley, Oregon Democrats, Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Angus King, an independent from Maine. Wyden is chairman of the energy and natural resources committee.

The bill also offers a 20 percent credit, capped at $40 million each, for utility-scale systems, with a total budget of $1.5 billion in incentives for these large projects.

Wind turbines and solar panels don’t always generate power when it’s most needed, and storage systems that retain the energy until demand is higher will facilitate wider use of renewable energy, the senators said.

“Building out more energy storage will increase the amount of renewable power on the grid, reduce our country’s need for new power plants and make the U.S. energy system more reliable,” Wyden said in the statement. “With all of the attention given to new sources of power, it’s only appropriate that energy storage gets its time in the sun.”

The threshold for storage systems to qualify for the incentive was lowered to 5 kilowatt hours from 20 kilowatt hours in an earlier version of the bill that wasn’t passed.

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