DOE makes $4bn available in loan guarantees for clean technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy on July 3 issued a loan guarantee solicitation that makes as much as $4bn in loan guarantees available for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases.

This solicitation represents the next step in DOE’s commitment, at the direction of President Barack Obama, to support the deployment of innovative, clean energy technologies at commercial scale in the U.S.

“As the President emphasized in his Climate Action Plan, it is critical that we take an all-of-the above approach to energy in order to cut carbon pollution, help address the effects of climate change and protect our children’s future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Investments in clean, low-carbon energy also provide an economic opportunity. Through previous loan guarantees and other investments, the Department is already helping launch or jumpstart entire industries in the U.S., from utility-scale wind and solar to nuclear and lower-carbon fossil energy. Today’s announcement will help build on and accelerate that success.”

The Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee Solicitation is intended to support technologies that are catalytic, replicable, and market-ready. Within the solicitation, the Department has included a sample list of potential technologies for consideration. While any project that meets the appropriate requirements is eligible to apply, the department has identified five key technology areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage; drop-in biofuels; waste-to-energy; enhancement of existing facilities including micro-hydro or hydro updates to existing non-powered dams; and efficiency improvements.

During a 30-day public comment period, the Department held six public meetings around the country and accepted written comments online. The solicitation issued July 3 addresses many of those comments.

With this announcement, the department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is now accepting applications in three areas, which also include the $8bn Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation that was released in December 2013 and the $16bn Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.

Currently, the LPO supports a diverse portfolio of more than $30bn in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments, supporting more than 30 projects nationwide. The projects that LPO has supported include one of the world’s largest wind farms; several of the world’s largest solar generation and thermal energy storage systems; and more than a dozen new or retooled auto manufacturing plants across the country.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.