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Foster, Casten Energy Storage Legislation Passes Congress

Dec 23, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC - This week, Congress passed a coronavirus relief and omnibus package which included the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act introduced by Rep. Foster (D-IL) and Rep. Casten (D-IL). The legislation would authorize $50 million to support the creation of multiple public-private partnership projects to develop energy storage technology that is commercially viable and can support the electrical grid. Much of the most advanced work in battery storage technology is being led by Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

The BEST Act would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish aggressive “moonshot” goals to develop improved capacity and lower costs for grid-scale storage. While the Department of Energy has issued grants to promote better battery storage, funding has not been able to support the research needed for breakthroughs in technology capable of transforming the electrical grid.

“Energy storage is one of the great frontiers in new technology that could transform our country’s energy sector as we move to more environmentally sustainable energy models,” Foster said. “This bipartisan measure will provide a boost for research into energy storage technology, like the work being done at Argonne National Lab in my District, that could be transformational for our country’s electrical grid. Advancements in energy storage technology will be critical in our ability to fight climate change and America's scientific leadership will be vital for this effort. I am proud that the BEST Act was included in this package and will be sent to the President's desk.

Casten said, “Expanding access to clean energy via advances in energy storage is fundamental to addressing climate change, enhancing our nation’s energy security, and bolstering our economy. The transition to a low-carbon economy fueled by cheap, clean energy requires a commitment to research, demonstration, and deployment of new and improved energy storage systems. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank Rep. Foster for his leadership on his Better Energy Storage Technology Act, and for incorporating provisions from PGSA into his bill. I’m proud that this bipartisan bill has passed Congress and will be signed into law.”

The text of the BEST Act is available here.