February 9, 2018

Cassidy, Colleagues Urge Full Funding for Important Energy Department Program

WASHINGTONU.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) are urging Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Vice Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT), and Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Diane Feinstein (D-CA) to ensure full funding for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program (Title XVII), which helps developers of breakthrough technologies obtain financing to bring promising energy projects to commercialization.

The full text of the senators’ letter is below:

Dear Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairman Alexander, and Ranking Member Feinstein:

We write in support of the Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program (Title XVII). We believe Title XVII is successful and continues to provide valuable contributions to American innovation in the energy sector, and we respectfully request that you work with us to find ways to continue to fund this vital program within the Department of Energy (DOE).

Title XVII helps developers of breakthrough, first-of-a-kind technologies obtain otherwise difficult financing needed to bring promising energy projects to commercialization. The DOE Loan Program Office oversees Title XVII and issues government backed loans that guarantee a maximum of 80% of the project cost. These loans help energy innovators bridge the “valley of death” and help attract the private sector to provide financing. In order to qualify for a Title XVII loan guarantee, developers must undergo a rigorous two-part application process requiring applicants demonstrate that the project meets rigorous standards for innovation.

Furthermore, applicants must prove satisfactory financing requirements to see the project to completion, as well as pay application fees that begin at $50,000 in the first phase of the application and increase dramatically in the second phase of the application. Currently, there are numerous viable projects in the application pipeline from companies that have already invested considerable time and money in the application process. These projects are deserving of an opportunity to move forward with their work but need certainty from Congress and the Department of Energy that Title XVII is available to utilize. These projects will provide innovative energy solutions for a cleaner and more efficient energy future. These projects include nuclear, fossil and renewable energy solutions from all parts of the country and will support new jobs and economic growth.

Title XVII has a loss ratio well below that of conventional lenders, and has a demonstrated history of successful investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Ultimately, the program helps to ensure that the United States continues to be a leader in promoting the successful development of innovative energy technologies that help provide meaningful solutions to our nation’s energy challenges. 

We ask that you maintain robust funding for Title XVII. We appreciate your consideration of this request and for your attention to this matter.