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Energy Department readies next grid, auto loans

The DOE is soliciting loan applications for renewable energy and grid transmission projects, while awards to promote auto and battery making are expected soon.

The Department of Energy on Wednesday detailed $30 billion in loan guarantees available to promote renewable energy and grid upgrades.

The DOE is soliciting applications for projects in renewable energy and added electricity transmission. This phase of loan guarantees also makes loans available for "cutting edge" biofuels projects.

The solicitations for applications are the sixth and seventh step in the DOE's loan guarantee program, funded by the stimulus act. Billions of dollars of loans and loan guarantees had been authorized before the stimulus but few had been awarded until earlier this year.

Awards for projects to promote domestic car and auto battery manufacturing--the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM) and Advanced Battery Manufacturing grants--are expected to be announced as early as this week.

Ford, Tesla Motors, and Nissan were the first awarded loans from the $25 billion ATVM program in June.