Casten, Smith Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Nation’s Energy Storage Capabilities

May 22, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) and U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Promoting Grid Storage Act of 2019, which would boost research and development of cutting-edge technologies to increase energy storage capabilities for America’s electric grid and enable the expanded use of clean energy.

Casten said, “Expanding access to clean energy through increases in grid-scale energy storage is fundamental to addressing climate change, enhancing our Nation’s energy security, and bolstering our economy. The transition to a low-carbon, clean energy economy requires a commitment to research, demonstration, and deployment of new and improved energy storage systems across the grid. Increasing energy storage can also help increase the reliability and resiliency of the electrical system, which is vital to keeping our communities safe and our economy strong. I’m proud to join Senator Smith to introduce this bipartisan bill, and I look forward to our continued work to help discover and deploy the ground-breaking energy storage technologies we need to help tackle the climate crisis.”

“Expanding American energy storage capabilities helps expand the use of renewables like wind and solar energy, and contributes to our nation’s energy and economic security,” said Sen. Smith. “Our bipartisan bill will help significantly improve our collective efforts to store energy by increasing energy storage research and expanding the deployment of energy storage technologies.”

Energy Storage Association CEO Kelly Speakes-Backman said, “We commend Senator Smith and Congressman Casten for introducing the Promoting Grid Storage Act with a bipartisan group of co-sponsors in the Senate and House. Energy storage is critical to enabling grid operators to enhance resilience, lower spending on spare capacity and adapt to a changing supply mix. Importantly, if enacted, the Promoting Grid Storage Act will authorize the Department of Energy to provide resources to states, utilities, municipalities and electric cooperatives to improve how storage is incorporated into long-term planning and grid operations. This will reduce barriers to storage deployment, particularly for smaller utilities, and enable more flexible and resilient electric system operations suited to 21st century demands. ESA is pleased to endorse the Promoting Grid Storage Act and notes that Sen. Smith, Rep. Casten, and their colleagues join a diverse and growing set of leading legislators in the House and Senate who all agree that advancing energy storage is a priority.”

Promoting Grid Storage Act of 2019 would divide $1.05 billion in authorized funding over five years to:

  • Improve coordination and collaboration of the Department of Energy (DOE) energy storage research efforts, which are currently fragmented across several programs.
  • Fund DOE grants to assist and boost public and private entities wishing to expand their energy storage capabilities.
  • Provide grants for pilot storage systems with a goal of moving promising energy-storage technologies from the laboratory to wide-scale deployment.

The bill’s cosponsors include Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA), Representative Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Representative Don Bacon (R-NE), Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY), Representative Bill Foster (D-IL), Representative Peter Welch (D-VT), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH).

Organizations that have endorsed the bill include NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association), APPA (American Public Power Association) and the Energy Storage Association.