DOE Announces Final Rule for Loan Guarantee Program

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman last week announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued the final regulations for the loan guarantee program authorized by Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). DOE’s action today will pave the way for federal support of clean energy projects using innovative technologies and will spur further investment in these advanced energy technologies.

DOE also today invited 16 project sponsors, who submitted pre-applications last fall, to submit full applications for loan guarantees. These projects include advanced technologies involving the uses of biomass, fossil energy, solar, industrial energy efficiency, electricity delivery and energy reliability, hydrogen, and alternative fuel vehicles.

“Loan guarantees aim to stimulate investment and commercialization of clean energy technologies to reduce our Nation’s reliance on foreign sources of energy,” Secretary Bodman said. “Finalizing this regulation for the Department’s Loan Guarantee program puts Americans one step closer to being able to use new and novel sources of energy on a mass scale to reduce emissions and allow for vigorous economic growth and increased energy security.”

Today’s announcements build on months of action by DOE to implement its loan guarantee program. In August 2006, DOE issued a solicitation inviting pre-applications for up to $2 billion in loan guarantees. By the December 31, 2006 deadline for this solicitation, DOE received 143 pre-applications requesting more than $27 billion in loan guarantee protection (for project costs estimated at more than $51 billion).

A selection of the projects and sponsors invited to submit full applications are listed below:

  • Luz II submitted a project proposal to develop a highly efficient large-scale power project in Nevada using concentrated solar-thermal technology.
  • Solyndra, Inc proposed a plan to manufacture highly efficient thin-film photovoltaic modules in California.
  • In Massachusetts, Beacon Power plans to develop a system that will enhance peak performance of electric generation over the power grid.
  • Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park, LLC plans to build, in Connecticut, the largest single-site installation of fuel cells in the world.
  • Tesla Motors has proposed plans to build a battery-electric powered vehicle with enhanced range that can be produced for the consumer market in New Mexico.
  • Alico, Inc plans a a first-of-a-kind commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant that would use multiple feedstocks and produce multiple products to be developed in Florida.
  • In California, Blue Fire Ethanol, Inc. plans to build a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant using an array of low-cost feedstocks.
  • Choren USA wants to construct, in the Southeast, an industrial-scale biomass gasification facility for clean synthetic diesel fuels in the United States.
  • Endicott Biofuels, LLC has proposed a Virginia-based second generation biodiesel and bio-derived products plant that would feature a high level of feedstock flexibility allowing for the production of a broad range of biodiesel fuels.
To review the final regulations and more about DOE’s loan guarantee program, visit www.lgprogram.energy.gov.

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