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U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Angus King, I-Maine, have introduced the Storage Technology for Renewable and Green Energy Act of 2013 (STORAGE) to encourage the development of renewable energy as a source of electricity and lower consumer costs through the deployment of energy storage technologies.

"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 says. "These systems don’t make energy - they make energy better. With all of the attention given to new sources of power, it’s only appropriate that energy storage gets its time in the sun."

Wyden and Collins introduced a previous version of the bill in the last Congress. As in the 2011 version of the bill, the STORAGE Act of 2013 (S.1030) offers a 30% investment tax credit to businesses for the use of technologies that can store energy during non-peak hours and distribute it to meet peak electricity demand.

According to the senators, the latest version of the bill lowers the qualifying threshold to encourage small businesses to take advantage of on-site storage technologies. The bill also provides a 30% tax credit to homeowners who install energy storage on their property to help serve their own energy needs or capture energy from on-site renewable energy generation.

Finally, the STORAGE Act provides a 20% investment tax credit of up to $40 million per project for grid-scale storage systems. The total amount available for these projects is capped at $1.5 billion.

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