Obama announces more than $1B in DOE initiatives for renewable and advanced fossil energy; loan guarantees and ARPA-E projects
President Obama announced more than $1 billion in Department of Energy (DOE) initiatives to advance clean energy technologies. As part of the President’s Clean Power Plan, DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is making up to $1 billion dollars in loan guarantees available to support commercial-scale distributed energy projects. In addition, through the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), DOE is awarding $24 million in funding for 11 high-performance solar power projects that could lower the cost and improve the performance of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems.
LPO Loan Guarantees for Distributed Energy Projects. The LPO will make $1 billion of loan guarantee authority available through the existing Title XVII program and provide guidance on the types of financial structures it can support for distributed energy projects.
This loan guarantee authority will be split equally between the Advanced Fossil Energy Projects and the Renewable Energy & Efficient Energy Projects solicitations. The loan guarantee authority will be available following a 45-day Congressional notification period.
LPO is also publishing supplements to its existing Advanced Fossil Energy Projects and the Renewable Energy & Efficient Energy Projects solicitations. These supplements provide guidance on the types of project structures, financial terms, and eligible technology DOE can support for distributed energy projects under Title XVII.
The supplements also provide guidance that state-affiliated financial entities, including state green banks, may submit applications for eligible projects under Title XVII, including distributed energy projects. In addition, state and state-affiliated entities may be eligible co-lenders, equity providers, off-takers, or other participants in a transaction.
ARPA-E MOSAIC Program. ARPA-E’s Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) program is awarding $24 million to 11 teams across the country to develop new solar technologies that will create highly efficient photovoltaic (PV) panels that capture more sunlight using less area.
Many roofs are not well suited for conventional solar panels due to their size and/or location, making them inefficient and costly for some residents, businesses and utilities. However, using Concentrated Solar Power (CPV) optical devices that concentrate sunlight onto a smaller, high efficiency solar PV receiver can reduce the footprint of conventional solar panels, while maintaining their ability to generate electricity.
Current CPV technologies are location dependent, and require expensive materials to integrate into existing solar systems. MOSAIC seeks to overcome these challenges and develop small CPV systems (known as micro-scale CPV technology) that integrate more affordable materials and manufacturing techniques into PV solar panels that can be adopted in more locations.
MOSAIC has selected projects to develop solar modules that integrate high-performance micro-scale concentrated PV technologies into “flat plate” solar panels to improve the efficiency and cost of solar technologies.