The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) authority to issue loan guarantees officially received a $1 billion boost, which will be split between its Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation and Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects solicitation.
The agency has finalized the additional loan guarantee authority that President Obama announced in August. It means that more loan guarantees are available under the DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) solicitations. The Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation (which also includes distributed energy projects) now has an additional $500 million, making a total $8.5 billion available. It also adds $500 million to raise the total for the Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects solicitation to $4.5 billion.
Supplemental guidances issued on Oct. 21 also add new rounds of Part I and Part II application deadlines that extend well into 2016.
DOE loan guarantee applications typically undergo a two-part review: Part I determines the initial eligibility of a project and whether it is ready to proceed, and Part II, for applications that clear Part I, includes the full application process. The LPO then grants a conditional commitment to selected applicants, who next undergo the complete underwriting process and negotiation of terms for the loan guarantee.
“We hope these announcements continue to encourage innovative energy projects to apply for Title XVII loan guaranteesand we look forward to doing more deals in the future,” said LPO Executive Director Mark McCall in a statement.
The LPO now has open solicitations in four areas: the $8.5 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation; the $4.5 billion Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects solicitation; the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program; and the $12.5 billion Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects solicitation. The office had reportedly received $12 billion worth of proposals as of July 2015.
To date, the agency has disbursed $32.4 billion to 30 projects under Section 1703 ($8.33 billion of that to Southern Co.’s Vogtle reactors and $2 billion to AREVA’s Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility), Section 1705 (which expired in September 2011 and furnished mostly renewables, transmission, or biofuels projects with loan guarantees), and advanced technology vehicles manufacturing.
—Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)