McSally’s bill would speed up federal development of long-duration energy storage technologies

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) is cosponsoring legislation to hasten development of long-duration energy storage technologies that would support an electrical grid dominated by renewable generation such as solar and wind.

Sen. McSally introduced the Joint Long-Term Storage Act of 2019, S. 2048, with U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME) to require the U.S. Secretary of Energy to establish a demonstration initiative focused on the development of long-duration energy storage technologies, including the establishment of a joint program with the U.S. Secretary of Defense, according to the bill’s text. Both senators are members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The wider availability of long-duration energy storage would allow American consumers to store excess energy for use during non-peak production hours; increase the reliability of renewable energy; and reduce the transportation of flammable liquid fuels by the U.S. military, according to a one-page summary of the bill provided by the lawmakers.

“In addition to advancing Arizona’s clean energy leadership, breakthroughs in long-term energy storage technology can improve the safety and resiliency of our military installations,” Sen. McSally said on Monday.

If enacted, the joint program established under S. 2048 would enable the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Energy to maximize their use of federal research funding to develop these technologies.

“By leveraging the joint expertise of both the Department of Energy and Defense, this legislation will ensure federal research dollars are used efficiently and effectively,” said Sen. McSally.

S. 2048 has garnered the support of the Energy Storage Association, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Maine Renewable Energy Association.

The proposed measure has been referred to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for consideration.