$40B Federal Energy Loans Program is Back, Deputy Director Says at Houston Event
Public Policy & Regulation attorney Taite McDonald spoke with Houston Business Journal about the return of a federal lending program for clean energy projects, which grew dormant under the latter years of the Obama and Trump administrations. The Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office (LPO) has more than $40 billion in loan capacity to disperse for large-scale projects with innovative technology that hasn't yet reached commercialization.
Ms. McDonald said numerous issues have hampered further loan deployment: highly publicized fallout of one loan, to solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, out of 29 total issued; the challenge of financing risky new technologies; and wavering support from the administrations since, among other factors. As with any highly complex projects, the LPO hopefuls are difficult to successfully execute from the application through the transaction process, she added.
Today, Holland & Knight expects there are three to four dozen applications submitted to the LPO, Ms. McDonald said. If all the applications resulted in loan transactions — which is not likely, she noted — they would utilize the entire $40 billion-plus the LPO is currently authorized to issue.
READ: $40B Federal Energy Loans Program is Back, Deputy Director Says at Houston Event (subscription required)