US DoE Looks to US$10B
The US Department of Energy (DoE) is providing up to US$10B in loan guarantees for accelerated development of renewable energy technologies - including hydro power - as well as energy efficiency and transmission, and has called for applications before the end of the year.
Hydro power technologies that can be eligible include devices in, or for, existing impoundments, and also hydrokinetic devices for use in wave, tidal, ocean and river current energy schemes.
However, DoE said that the initiative cannot be used to support technologies already at a commercial stage - which is taken to mean used in at least each of three projects for at least five years by the time the backing is given.
The projects employing the technologies must be based in the US, or US territory, though foreign ownership or sponsorship is permissible.
Under the scheme, the loan guarantee is for up to 80% of project costs, and requires that the project backers and borrowers must put down sufficient equity. In general, projects are to be assessed on a limited recourse finance basis in which it will assume minimal pre-construction risks, and which must be shared among project participants. However, DoE is open to other proposals.
In addition, DoE will look for a reasonable chance of payback of loans and interest as part of its assessment process.
A sliding scale of application fees will be charged in relation to the size of loan guarantee requested, and only one application is possible per project.
DoE said the initiative has been launched to help improve or introduce technologies in energy projects that will help cut down on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition to benefits sought in countering the impact of climate change, the initiative is also aimed at supporting economic growth and help to secure energy supplies.
Application deadline for bids is 31 December, and under the FY08 Appropriation Act the power to award the funds expires on 30 September 2009.
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