Applications Open for $4B in Loan Guarantees for Energy Efficiency, Microgrids, Renewables

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loan guaranteesThe US Department of Energy is offering $4 billion in loan guarantees for energy efficiency, microgrid and renewable energy projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases.

The solicitation was issued July 3, following the close of a 30-day comment period.

The DOE seeks:

  • Energy efficiency projects that incorporate new or improved technologies to substantially reduce greenhouse gases. These could include a range of projects from those that improve energy usage in homes or buildings to those that dispatch, control, or stabilize intermittent power to microgrids, large transmission lines and smart grids.
  • Advanced Grid Integration and Storage, such as microgrids that reduce CO2 emissions at a system level; and storage that clearly enables greater adoption of renewable generation, or smart grid systems with demand response, energy efficiency or sensing
  • Drop-In Biofuels that are more compatible with today’s engines, delivery infrastructure and refueling station equipment.  These projects take advantage of existing infrastructure by providing nearly identical bio-based substitutes for crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel, or produce intermediate fuel feedstocks for oil petroleum refineries.
  • Waste-to-Energy that harnesses waste products such as landfill methane and segregated waste as a source of energy.
  • Enhancement of Existing Facilities to improve  a power project or extend its lifetime, such as retrofits of existing wind turbines.

The program offers up to 80 percent of project costs. The intent is to leverage DOE support to maximize private co-lending.

The DOE will accept applications in a two-step process under a round of deadlines with the first on Oct. 1 and the last March 2, 2016.

The loan guarantee program supports technologies that are catalytic, replicable, and market-ready. It is meant to help technologies that have yet to be deployed at commercial scale, so may be perceived as too risky for conventional financing

The Loan Programs Office already provides $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments for 30 projects nationwide, including 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.

The solicitation (DE-SOL-0007154) provides more project examples and detailed requirements. It is available here.

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