The Department of Energy (“DOE”) issued a draft solicitation yesterday for a new Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Projects Loan Guarantee Program.  Once finalized, the Program is expected to make as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available to innovative clean energy technology projects that are not currently in commercial use.  Based on DOE’s previous practices, we expect the final solicitation to be issued later this year.

Established in support of the Administration’s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, the Program represents yet another opportunity to obtain financial assistance for innovative clean energy technology projects, in addition to the previously announced Advanced Fossil Energy Project solicitation.  In announcing yesterday’s draft solicitation, Secretary Ernest Moniz noted that DOE’s existing renewable energy loan guarantees “helped launch the U.S. utility-scale solar industry and other clean energy technologies that are now contributing to our clean energy portfolio.”  Secretary Moniz further explained that DOE wants “to replicate that success by focusing on technologies that are on the edge of commercial-scale deployment today.”

In the draft solicitation, DOE identifies five areas of technology that it hopes will benefit from the Program, including advanced grid integration and storage, drop-in biofuels, waste-to-energy, enhancement of existing facilities, and efficiency improvements.  Specific examples of eligible projects include technology that:

  • improves renewable energy distribution systems;
  • provides bio-based substitutes for crude oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel;
  • harnesses energy from landfill methane and segregated waste;
  • enhances or extend the lifetime of an energy generating asset;
  • reduces commercial or residential energy usage; or
  • recovers dispatch or waste energy.

DOE will look favorably on projects that have a catalytic effect, replicating or extending new or significantly improved technologies once established in the commercial marketplace.

Upon issuance of the final solicitation, DOE plans to review applications in a two-step process.  After making an initial eligibility determination, DOE will subject applicants to a more complete process, including underwriting and further negotiation upon DOE’s conditional commitment to provide a guarantee.  The draft solicitation indicates that projects must be market ready, and applicants for financial assistance must be prepared to provide an equity contribution.  In addition, the draft solicitation indicates that DOE plans to give preference to projects that cannot be fully financed by commercial means.

DOE is accepting comments on the draft solicitation for a thirty-day period.  Additional details and a schedule for public meetings being held to discuss the draft solicitation can be found here.

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Photo of Scott A. Freling Scott A. Freling

Scott Freling represents civilian and defense contractors, at all stages of the procurement process, in their dealings with federal, state, and local government customers and with other contractors. He has a broad-based government contracts practice, which includes compliance counseling, internal investigations, strategic procurement…

Scott Freling represents civilian and defense contractors, at all stages of the procurement process, in their dealings with federal, state, and local government customers and with other contractors. He has a broad-based government contracts practice, which includes compliance counseling, internal investigations, strategic procurement advice, claims and other disputes, teaming and subcontracting, and mergers and acquisitions. He represents clients in federal and state court litigation and administrative proceedings, including bid protests before the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He also represents clients in obtaining and maintaining SAFETY Act liability protection for anti-terrorism technologies. Mr. Freling’s experience covers a wide variety of industries, including defense and aerospace, information technology and software, government services, life sciences, renewable energy, and private equity investment in government contractors.

Photo of Tyler Evans Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the government contracts group.  His practice covers multiple subject-matter areas, including research and development, non-traditional contracting, intellectual property, contract negotiations, flow-down requirements, small business issues, sourcing restrictions, costs…

Tyler Evans is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the government contracts group.  His practice covers multiple subject-matter areas, including research and development, non-traditional contracting, intellectual property, contract negotiations, flow-down requirements, small business issues, sourcing restrictions, costs, and compliance.