On May 22, 2019, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), introduced the Promoting Grid Storage Act of 2019. Co-sponsored by eight colleagues on from both parties, the bill instructs the Department of Energy (DOE) to foster development of new energy storage technologies. The same bill was introduced in the House by Representative Sean Casten (D-IL).
The bill provides for the creation and funding of three distinct programs within DOE:
- An energy storage research program that cuts across different subdivisions of the Department.
- An energy storage technical assistance and grant program that would disseminate information and provide technical assistance and grant money to private sector entities for designing and building energy storage systems.
- An energy storage demonstration program that would provide grant money to public and private entities for pilot energy storage systems that accomplish various objectives such as improving the security of critical infrastructure and emergency response systems amd improve the reliability of the grid, particularly in rural areas.
The bill authorizes the appropriation of $2.125 billion for the three programs over five years, starting in 2020.
Senator Smith stated, when introducing the bill, that it was the hope that it would "help significantly improve our collective efforts to store energy by increasing energy storage research and expanding the deployment of energy storage technologies.”