Recently, Sen. Susan Collins introduced the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act and co-sponsored the complementary Promoting Grid Storage Act. As a member of the Portland business community working to advance clean and efficient energy generation and storage solutions, I appreciate the goals of these bills and hope Congress will work to enact them.

Energy storage is one of the keys to improving the efficiency and reliability of our electric grid, reducing energy costs, and promoting the further adoption of renewable resources. As an example, Introspective Systems, the company I co-founded in Portland, is at the forefront of the revolution to manage variable renewable energy.

Our Transactive Energy technology uses the market to control and manage electricity demand – putting consumers in charge is one of many ways to improve new technologies for the grid. Storage is another – our Isle au Haut microgrid project utilizes two types of energy storage (super-capacitors and thermal energy) to make the grid more responsive.

Advanced energy storage still needs government research to move the technology to the next level. The BEST act is one way that we can design the technologies of the future, build jobs and modernize the grid.

These bills would help innovative American companies like mine work toward the rapid commercialization of clean energy technologies, including grid-scale storage research. Importantly, the BEST Act could help to improve the coordination and collaboration of the Department of Energy’s energy storage research efforts with public and private entities seeking to expand their energy storage capabilities, including support for new pilot storage systems. Public-private partnerships are the most effective way to address climate change, spur job growth and strengthen national security.

Thank you, Sen. Collins for empowering our country’s emerging energy technologies through improved energy storage research and development.

Kay Aikin

Portland


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