U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that the Department of Energy will provide up to $30 billion in loan guarantees, depending on the applications and market conditions, for renewable energy projects. Another $750 million will be allocated in loan guarantees for projects that increase the reliability, efficiency and security of the nation’s transmission system. The two new loan-guarantee solicitations are being funded partly through the Recovery Act and partly through 2009 appropriations, according to the DOE.

The Obama Administration has set a goal of doubling renewable electricity generation over the next three years. Chu said publicly that to achieve that goal, “We … need a grid that can move clean energy from the places it can be produced to the places where it can be used and that can integrate variable sources of power, like wind and solar.”

The lending authority includes the follows:

  • Up to $8.5 billion in lending authority supported by 2009 annual appropriations for renewable energy.
  • Up to $2 billion in subsidy costs, provided by the Recovery Act, to support billions in loans for renewable energy and electric power transmission projects.
  • Up to $500 million in subsidy costs to support loans for cutting edge bio-fuel projects funded by the Recovery Act.
  • Up to $750 million in subsidy costs, provided by the Recovery Act, to support loans for large transmission infrastructure projects in the United States that use commercial technologies and begin construction by Sept. 30, 2011.

Applications for the loans guarantees will be accepted over the next 45 days. Learn more at the department’s Loan Guarantee Program.