With the weather cooling and seemingly everything pumpkin-flavored, summer may be officially over. So I wanted to provide an update on what was a busy summer for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office.
As we headed into the July 4 holiday, LPO announced a $4 billion renewable energy and energy efficiency loan guarantee solicitation. While any eligible project is welcome to apply, the solicitation highlights five technology areas that the DOE thinks are catalytic, replicable and market ready: advanced grid integration & storage; drop-in biofuels; waste-to-energy; enhancement of existing facilities; and efficiency improvements. The first application deadline is October 1.
In early July, LPO announced a $150 million conditional commitment to Cape Wind, which could become the first commercial-scale offshore wind facility in the United States. As noted in a report released by the DOE in August, the United States has 4.9 GW of potential offshore wind capacity in advanced stages and Secretary Moniz commented in the Cape Wind announcement: “a conditional commitment to the Cape Wind project demonstrates our intent to help build a strong U.S. offshore wind industry.”
In August, I delivered a keynote address at Coal-Gen, the leading gathering of the coal industry, to discuss LPO’s $8 billion advanced fossil energy solicitation. I also led a panel during July’s White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference about opportunities for energy generation and transmission in rural America.
LPO’s mission to help finance innovation is being realized as many of its projects are reaching completion. And Beacon Power, a loan guarantee recipient not initially deemed successful, was cited by Slate as “roaring back” and “is current on the DOE loan, which means taxpayers are likely to get $25 million of the money they lent to the company, with interest.”
This summer also saw continued record growth in the electric vehicle sector for Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan recipients, with Nissan and Ford both setting new all-time highs in the recently released August 2014 monthly sales figures (courtesy of Inside EVs).
As LPO continues its activities during the fall, be sure to keep updated at our website, http://energy.gov/lpo.