$13M Awarded to Solar Projects

Five solar projects received $13 million from the Department of Energy on December 11 as part of the SunShot Initiative. The projects, designed to improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce production costs, are located in CA, CO, GA, PA, and OR. An additional $14 million will be matched through private cost-share contributions.

SMR Award

The Department of Energy selected NuScale Power LLC to support a project to design, certify, and commercialize small modular nuclear reactors December 12. The agency will invest up to half of the total project cost, to be negotiated between the two, with the project’s industry partners matching or exceeding the investment; it has $452 million for the SMR licensing technical support program.

$8 Billion for Fossil Energy Loan Guarantees

The Department of Energy began accepting applications December 12 for $8 billion in loan guarantees for advanced fossil energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agency expects to make smaller loan guarantees for a variety of projects related to coal, oil, natural gas, shale gas, coal bed methane, methane hydrates, and efficiency improvements. Initial applications are due by the end of February.

Remaining 48C Money Awarded

The Department of Energy awarded the remaining $150 million from the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit 48C Program December 12. The credits, awarded to twelve businesses that must place the projects in service by 2017, include $30 million to Cree Inc. for efficient lighting manufacturing expansion, $30 million to Corning Inc. for diesel emissions control product manufacturing, and $30 million to Ford Motor Company for electric vehicle investment.

Electric Motor Test Procedures Amended

The Department of Energy published a final rule December 13 for electric motor test procedures. The agency clarified the setup requirements needed to facilitate the testing of currently unregulated motors, and adopted new definitions.

Grid Energy Storage Expansion Strategies

The Department of Energy released a report December 12 finding that in order to expand grid energy storage, government and industry must reduce uncertainty about how the technology is used and how it can be cost-effective. The report outlined a strategy to increase energy storage by developing cost competitive technologies, validating its reliability and safety, creating a more consistent regulatory environment, and fostering industry acceptance.