On October 7, 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invited applications for “Federal Loan Guarantees for Commercial Technology Renewable Energy Generation Projects Under the Financial Institution Partnership Program.” This solicitation seeks applications from Lender-Applicants for debt financing for renewable energy systems under the loan guarantee program authorized by Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The solicitation makes available up to $750 million in federal funds to pay the credit subsidy costs of loan guarantees for eligible projects. DOE has stated that these funds may be sufficient to support guarantees for $4 billion to $8 billion in loans.
The October 7 solicitation presents a new approach by DOE in its effort to expedite and streamline the review of proposed projects and the issuance of loan guarantees. Unlike prior Title XVII solicitations, DOE contemplates that the applications in response to the October 7 solicitation will be submitted by the Lenders to, instead of the developers of, renewable energy projects, and the solicitation puts in place additional standards and procedures to help DOE rely on the Lender-Applicants’ analyses of proposed projects. The solicitation sets forth detailed requirements for both the applications that may be submitted and the structure of proposed guaranteed obligations. Part I applications may be submitted to DOE at any time; the first Part II submission deadline is November 23, 2009. There are subsequent Part II submission deadlines as well.
Alexander Karsner is the Chairman and CEO of Manifest Energy, and serves on the boards of Applied Materials, Inc., Conservation International, and the Argonne National Laboratory, and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness. He is a successful developer of energy infrastructure projects, particularly renewable energy projects, throughout the world. Mr. Karsner served as Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy from 2006 to 2008.
Irving L. Rotter is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP and head of the firm’s Project Finance and Infrastructure Practice.
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