National Press Club

Renewable Experts Detail Need for Energy Storage

October 29, 2009 | By Frank Maisano |

Grid and power experts said compressed air storage for renewable energy is essential as wind, solar and other renewable resources begin to play a more significant role in the US power generation mix.

At an Oct. 27 Newsmaker, PJM CEO Terry Boston, Electric Power Research Institute researcher Robert Schainker and Energy Storage and Power CEO Stephen Byrd addressed the potential of energy technology to counteract the intermittency of renewables and called for additional incentives to prime the market.

The event occurred after President Obama announced a $3.4 billion electricity grid improvement initiative in a Florida speech that morning. Boston said that the Mid-Atlantic grid operator and several of its members received grant funding for specific projects to upgrade or improve the regional electric grid.

Byrd said changes in federal policy are needed to stimulate deployment of energy storage technologies. Energy Storage and Power is a strategic alliance between Public Service Enterprise Group and compressed air energy storage pioneer Michael Nahkamkin.

Byrd praised an effort by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden to include an investment tax credit for energy storage. Wind and solar generation both enjoy investment tax credits, Byrd said, and "that has been critical to enabling these technologies to be deployed in a widespread manner. I believe that will have the same effect in the energy storage sector."