Access to critical minerals such as lithium, manganese, cobalt, or graphite can accelerate commercial deployment of batteries for innovative technologies like long-term energy storage or fueling the growing U.S. fleet of electric vehicles. To address America’s lack of secure critical minerals supply chains, the President issued Executive Order 13817, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.”
The Department’s Loan Programs Office can potentially provide access to debt capital for commercial projects along the battery supply chain through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program or the Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program. While some energy-efficient mining projects could potentially be eligible for Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy loan guarantees, projects along the value chain from refining and processing to cell production and battery pack assembly may be eligible under either program.
Projects that will manufacture qualifying components for advanced technology vehicles could be eligible for the ATVM loans, even if a portion of the manufactured output will not be used in advanced technology vehicles. Each project is unique and LPO considers a number of factors to determine whether the project is eligible under the ATVM program.
Manufacturing projects along the battery supply chain could also be eligible for loan guarantees if the project utilizes innovative technology and reduces greenhouse gases on a life-cycle basis. For example, a project could be eligible for a Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Project loan guarantee under the efficient “end-use” category if the project consumes less total energy in its energy conversion process for the production of its end-product, as compared to current commercial processes in the United States.
Additionally, the deployment of innovative energy storage technology as part of renewable power generation project, whether utilizing batteries or another technology, could also be eligible for a Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Project loan guarantee.
If you are considering a commercial-scale project along the battery supply chain, LPO staff is available for pre-application consultations to provide additional information about program requirements to help you understand whether your project could be eligible. To set up a pre-application consultation, email LPO@hq.doe.gov or call 202-586-8336.