Maryland Becomes First in the Nation to Pass Storage Tax Credit

Late last night, Maryland took a historic step to become first in the nation to pass legislation enacting a dedicated tax credit for the installation of energy storage systems. Led by Senator Guy Guzzone and Delegate Kirill Reznik, Senate Bill 758 establishes income tax credits for up to 30% of the total cost of energy storage installed at residences and businesses from 2018 through the end of 2022, with an annual overall cap of $750,000. The bill is presently awaiting the signature of Governor Larry Hogan.

And there’s even more, as Maryland is taking a holistic approach to leading the energy storage industry. Yesterday also saw the passage of House Bill 773 (sponsored by Delegate Marc Korman) to study methods to promote storage deployments on all parts of the grid, and the Maryland Public Service Commission is preparing to convene a working group on the valuation of distributed energy storage.

These two actions are a big win for Maryland’s advanced energy industry and open a path for the state to become a leader in the energy storage industry. These efforts will not only support the deployment of hundreds of energy storage systems to help Maryland households and businesses lower their utility bills, but also will enable those buildings to relieve stress on the electric grid and be resilient to service disruptions.

In addition, with energy storage systems distributed across the electric grid at many different points, system operators and planners could also have a new tool to make the entire grid more cost-effective and reliable. Energy storage systems can be operated independently (say, to lower a customer’s electric bill) or in aggregate when they are orchestrated together to act as one more powerful system. This flexibility is immensely valuable to the grid and benefits all ratepayers (whether they choose to install a storage system themselves or not!).

Notably, Maryland legislators chose to embrace all types of energy storage, an important distinction. While batteries make most of the headlines today, thermal (e.g., ice energy) and mechanical (e.g., flywheels) energy storage systems have similar capabilities and are proven, cost-effective solutions in many applications.

Over the next 5 years, Maryland will play a significant role in the advancement of the energy storage industry. Once enacted, this law is expected to directly spur more than 10,000 kilowatt-hours of customer-sited energy storage systems and will be paired with private sector and homeowner investments. Such sustained investment will expand the energy storage industry in the greater Mid-Atlantic and positions Maryland as a leader among states in the development and deployment of advanced energy storage systems.

Congratulations to Maryland's advanced energy industry leaders and all those that worked with ESA, stakeholders, and allies to pass this legislation.

Maryland is charging ahead!