DOE Provides Funding for Transmission

The Grid Deployment Office of the Department of Energy (DOE) has just announced the “Transmission Facilitation Program Requests for Proposal – Capacity Contracts.”

Under the Transmission Facilitation Program (TFP), the DOE may facilitate the construction, replacement, or capacity upgrade of certain eligible electric power transmission lines and related facilities (Eligible Projects).

The goals of the TFP are to facilitate the construction of needed transmission infrastructure and deployment of technologies that enhance the capacity, efficiency, resiliency, and reliability of the electric power transmission system and to improve access to low cost and low carbon energy resources while ensuring repayment of TFP support as set forth in 42 U.S.C. 18713(j)(8).

Through the TFP, DOE can offer three types of support to facilitate Eligible Projects:

– capacity contracts (which provide a commercial source of revenue);

– loans (which provide debt support); and

– public private partnerships (which provide equity support).

This Request for Proposals (RFP) specifically solicits applications for DOE support for only capacity contracts. “All TFP projects must demonstrate that DOE can recover its costs as the TFP is a revolving fund and not a grant program,” said the DOE.

Part 1 of the application requires applicants to provide a project paper that describes the project’s eligibility, business case, and potential for furthering the goals of TFP by:

– using advanced technology that enhances the capacity, resiliency, or reliability of an electric power transmission system;

– improving reliability and resilience of an electric power transmission system;

– increasing interregional transfer capacity to support strong and equitable economic growth, or;

– contributing to national or subnational goals to lower electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, applicants must describe how their projects will not only contribute to the country’s energy technology and climate goals, but also meet the following four priority goals:

1 – Support meaningful community and labor engagement;

2 – Invest in the American workforce;

3 – Advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and

4 – Contribute to the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities (the Justice40 Initiative).

Applicants that DOE invites to Part 2 will be required to submit a more in-depth application, and DOE will make selections for capacity contracts, if any, based on the Part 2 applications. DOE

will invite applicants of selected projects to enter into a due diligence phase, during which DOE and the applicants will negotiate binding agreements for award of capacity contracts.

In terms of dates:

– The submission deadline for Part 1 is March 11

– The submission deadline for Part 2 is six weeks after invite release (estimated the end of May.\)

– The expected date for DOE selection notification and start of due diligence and contract negotiation is October 2024.


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