Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Steven Chu announced the issue of a final rule last week amending the DOE’s regulations for its Loan Guarantee Program. The revised rule will allow for increased participation in the program by financial institutions and other investors and enable the support of more innovative energy technologies in the United States.

“This much needed change will provide greater flexibility to the Loan Guarantee Program and help us to support more projects at a better value to taxpayers,” says Chu. “This is part of our commitment to ensuring businesses are able to access the support they need to create jobs and contribute to a clean energy economy.”

 

Under the rule change, the Loan Guarantee Program will be able to consider financing projects together with other lenders and will be able to provide loan guarantees to projects with multiple participants (who may hold undivided interests in a project). As an example, export credit agencies and other financial institutions will now be able to provide financing to complement Title XVII loans and loan guarantees. This approach will result in lowered risk and potential costs to taxpayers.

On August 7, 2009, the Department published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Opportunity for Comment announcing the effort to change the regulations. A 30-day comment period was extended an additional two weeks in response to public requests. DOE carefully reviewed all of the comments on the NOPR from more than 2,100 interested parties.

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