US legislators have unveiled a bipartisan draft law to authorise US$300 million over five years to speed up the development of next-generation energy storage technologies.
Battery grid-scale projects would be among those eligible for support under the ‘Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act’— spearheaded by Republican Senator Susan Collins (pictured) and Democrat Senator Martin Heinrich.
Grid-scale energy storage R&D supported by the proposed law would include “highly flexible power systems with a minimum duration of six hours and with a lifetime of at least 8,000 cycles of discharge at full output and 20 years of operation”.
There would also be support for R&D focusing on long duration storage systems with a power output of “10 to roughly 100 hours, with a lifetime of at least 1,500 cycles and 20 years of operations”.
The CEO of the US Energy Storage Association, Kelly Speakes-Backman, said if the bill becomes law it would authorise the Department of Energy to undertake new public-private partnerships for “proving promising electrochemical, thermal, and physical storage technologies in actual electric grid operations”.
The BEST bill comes just weeks after another bipartisan bill was unveiled in the US aimed at cutting the country’s “damaging” dependence on imports of materials, including those “critical” to expanding battery storage and electric vehicle technology.