DOE Loan Programs Office
Leslie Rich is Senior Consultant at the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office.
The "bridge to bankability" is the phrase DOE's Loan Programs Office personnel cites to explain what it offers to entrepreneurs looking to bring innovations to commercial viability. After all, low-cost debt financing of technologies that may not otherwise reach commercial scale is often the key to success.
But there is more, especially for the energy and utilities sector, as explained here by DOE's Leslie Rich, as the Inflation Reduction Act created a new program called the Energy Infrastructure Reinvestment Program. That aims to help finance the clean energy transition.
There are many ins and outs of federal loans programs available in the innovation and utilities areas, and to suss out the complexities, Public Utilities Fortnightly's Steve Mitnick sat down with Rich for clarity. Listen in.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What is the role of the Loans Programs Office, and what are you trying to accomplish this and next year?
Leslie Rich: The role of the Loans Programs Office is to provide low-cost debt financing to technologies that may not otherwise reach commercial scale. We call it the bridge to bankability.
You take a technology that's proven, but not yet at commercial scale. They might be able to access the private equity market and do equity raises but can't go to the commercial debt market yet.