The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) makes the single largest investment in climate and energy in American history, enabling accessing clean energy sources and technology easier. Within its energy and climate provisions, IRA appropriates approximately $11.7 billion in total for the Loan Programs Office (LPO) to support issuing new loans. IRA also adds a new loan program, the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment (EIR) Program to help repurpose energy infrastructure that has ceased operations or to improve the efficiency of infrastructure that is currently operating. Coupled with the tax provisions that are also available under the new legislation, there is unprecedented opportunity for energy efficiency, renewable and clean energy investments, fleet decarbonization, infrastructure improvements and other sustainability-related investments.
Additionally, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that was passed in 2021, provides the largest federal investment since the New Deal in the nation’s roads, bridges, water and energy systems.
With both pieces of legislation, agencies will be tasked with implementing new and/or expanding existing programs to award federal funds to eligible infrastructure projects. Agency offices will issue requests for information to inform their decisions in establishing grant program parameters, develop and publish solicitations for project applications, set timelines for awards and oversee implementation of awarded funds. The Department of Energy and other federal agencies will be responsible for spending billions of dollars for power and grid related programs, including grid infrastructure, resiliency investments, clean energy demonstration projects and cybersecurity. Along with the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation will provide $7.5 billion for the construction of alternative fueling infrastructure for electric, biofuels and hydrogen transportation fuels.
It is important to engage the agencies as they develop the parameters of these grant programs, to ensure projects will meet the program criteria for a funding award, and to ensure solicitations are designed to support clients’ infrastructure projects. Our professionals have had significant success in assisting clients through these processes, assisting clients in the development of grant applications, and negotiating awards in both Democratic and Republican Administrations.