Bingaman on Role of Grid-Scale Energy Storage

December 10, 2009
01:00 PM
“Good Morning. Thank you all for being here.  We have had several hearings in this committee on the topic of energy storage.
“Those hearings were primarily focused on energy storage technologies for the transportation sector.  This morning we are turning our attention to the role of energy storage for the grid.
“We’re told that grid-scale energy storage technologies have the potential to transform the grid, enabling energy to be delivered exactly when it is needed, regardless of when it was produced and providing a new toolbox of capabilities for managing our grid.  These capabilities will allow us to run our grid more efficiently and reliably and provide better power to customers.  And they will allow us to maximize the capacity of our existing generation, transmission and distribution assets, reducing the need to build more.  We’re also learning that energy storage technologies will be instrumental in achieving larger amounts of renewable generation on the grid by acting as a shock-absorber for fluctuations in power and providing firm, dispatchable energy.
“The American Recovery Act passed by Congress only 10 months ago has been instrumental in jump-starting the development of these grid-scale energy storage technologies.  The Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity last week announced funding for 16 utility-scale energy storage demonstration projects aimed at proving out the technical feasibility, benefits and business case for these technologies.  My own state is participating in two of these demonstration grants to demonstrate the use of flow batteries for firming-up renewable power.  I also know that the Department is also pursuing several breakthrough grid storage projects though ARPA-E and through the Office of Science.
“These efforts are positioning our country as a world leader in grid-scale energy storage research and development.  Ensuring that the capabilities of these technologies are used to our best advantage and swiftly deployed on the grid where it makes sense to do so will not only help us to meet our clean energy goals but will ensure that we remain leaders in grid-scale storage.”
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