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US Senate promotes renewable energy with new legislation

The United States Senate recently showed its support for renewable energy and the importance of its storage, through signing the Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy Act of 2013.

This Act promotes the implementation of energy storage technology in order to reduce the need for high-cost peaking electricity, while helping renewable energy become more reliable and available. This act is valuable to the solar industry because the bill includes a provision for third party financing to help make solar panels a more valuable resource.

The Act offers investment tax credits for three categories of energy storage facilities that temporarily store energy for use at another time. The first category provides a 20% tax credit of up to $40 million per project for storage systems connected to the electric grid as well as the distribution systems. Under the second category, there is a 30% investment tax credit of up to $1 million per project for businesses who implement on site storage. Lastly, the act includes a 30% tax credit for homeowners who invest in an on-site storage technology that has the ability to store off peak electricity.

In comparison to the Storage Act of 2011, the 2013 Act includes more emphasis toward small businesses with only 5kWh needed for storage systems rather than the 20kWh needed in 2011. Energy storage systems are a valuable resource for the electric grid because they increase grid efficiency, allow for the use of more renewable energy and help eliminate the need for new transmission lines.

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