Senate passes infrastructure bill containing provisions for energy storage development, power grid upgrades

the US Senate voted to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes provisions for energy storage development and grid upgrades that could support greater deployment of solar energy. The Energy Storage Association welcomed the passage but pushed for a standalone storage ITC in future legislation.

“We commend the US Senate for coming together to pass a bipartisan infrastructure legislation that supports clean energy growth,” ESA Interim CEO Jason Burwen said in a statement. “ESA” advocated for some of the provisions contained in the bill passed today, which will boost U.S. storage technology production, increase investment in energy storage and other resilient solutions, and accelerate the next generation of storage technologies. But without the demand-driven approach to energy storage recommended by the government, these efforts will be curtailed in producing long-term employment, economic growth and climate mitigation as envisioned in President Biden’s ruling American Job Plan. Since an investment tax credit (ITC) for stand-alone energy storage was not included in this legislation, ESA is calling on members of the Senate and House to align its bipartisan infrastructure legislation with the storage ITC in future legislation.”

The infrastructure bill of more than 2,000 pages also supports the deployment of clean energy in a number of roundabout ways, through grid upgrades to bring the energy of mega solar projects in the desert to distant states (Sec. 40101-40113), as well as plans to equip some former mining facilities with solar energy (Sec. 40341).

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where the Progressive Caucus has said it will withhold a vote unless the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion social policy bill this fall, the report said. The New York Times.

A group of lawmakers, led by Representatives Blumenauer, Levin, Barragán, McEachin and Crow, sent a letter to House leadership Tuesday, urging them to ensure clean energy tax provisions are included in the house’s infrastructure package.

“Our world is at a crossroads and there is an urgent need to deploy more clean energy and significantly reduce the amount of carbon emitted by our electricity sector. This week’s IPCC report makes it abundantly clear that we are in the midst of a climate emergency and that we must act now. The clean energy champions in this letter understand what is at stake, and we join their call to support policies that have a track record of driving clean energy adoption,” Erin said. Duncan, VP of congressional affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said in a statement, “The solar investment tax credit (ITC) is a proven job creator, and a long-term, immediate payment extension will help create hundreds of thousands of new career opportunities, while solar – provide energy and storage companies with policy certainty to make investments at the scale needed to tackle climate change.”

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