As Berkeley, Calif.-based turbine manufacturer Nordic Windpower reported on July 2, it was one of the first companies in the renewable energy space to be the beneficiary of a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). But, as Nordic CEO Tom Carbone recently told North American Windpower, the planning began nearly four years ago under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct).
Nordic, which makes and sells two-bladed wind turbines for community wind and distributed utility projects, received a $16 million loan guarantee offer from the DOE in July. The company will use the funds to expand its Pocatello, Idaho-based assembly plant.
With the help of its lender, WorldBusiness Capital, Nordic applied for a loan under the EPAct's innovative technology provision. The lender ensured Nordic's application was complete and concise. What's more, the lender facilitated prompt responses to the DOE's queries, Carbone says.
Initially, under EPAct, WorldBusiness Capital was willing to lend a portion of the loan that would not be covered by the rules governing the EPAct guarantee. But as part of the economic stimulus package, the U.S. government is providing the total value of the loan through the federal financing bank.
Carbone says having a lender secured before the DOE even required the application ‘validated the application and [the company's] capability to repay the loan prior to submission to the DOE,’ which he notes was a key element of the company's success.
The stimulus package also brought about another significant change: The U.S. government now waives the credit subsidy fee, which an applicant was required to pay under EPAct. The credit subsidy fee would have been approximately 7.5% of the $16 million loan value, resulting in a savings of $1.2 million.
‘This is a significant amount of money not only for Nordic, but for other applicants,’ Carbone says.