DOE providing loan guarantees for hydropower

Up to $30 billion in loan guarantees will be made available to companies investing in new renewable energy projects, including hydropower, under plans announced July 29, 2009, by the Obama Administration.

Companies have 45 days to apply for the loan guarantees, the Department of Energy (DOE) said. The guarantees are designed to help companies secure private financing for hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass projects. Projects that improve the reliability, efficiency, and security of the nation’s electricity grid also are eligible for loan guarantees under the program.

“This administration has set a goal of doubling renewable electricity generation over the next three years,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “To achieve that goal, we need to accelerate renewable project development by ensuring access to capital for advanced technology projects.”

The loan guarantees will be funded in part by $8.5 billion from the DOE’s 2009 spending budget and by $3.25 billion from the economic stimulus package approved earlier this year. The guarantees will help companies obtain private financing that would otherwise be hard to get in these tough economic times, DOE said.

“These investments will be used to create jobs, spur the development of innovative clean energy technologies, and help ensure a smart, strong and secure grid that will deliver renewable power more effectively and reliably,” Chu said.

The loan guarantees mean part or all of the cost of a project will be paid by the federal government if the project fails. For more information about the DOE’s solicitation for loan guarantees, go to www.lgprogram.energy.gov.

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