DOE encourages clean energy concepts for current and former mine land


August 4, 2023

In June 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) responded to Concept Papers submitted for the Clean Energy Demonstration Program on Current and Former Mine Land (CEML) Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0003009). Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program will demonstrate the technical and economic viability of deploying clean energy on current (operating) and former (abandoned or inactive) mine land.

In April 2023, DOE announced up to $450 million in funding for up to five projects to advance widespread deployment of clean energy projects on current and former mine land. For the first stage of this process, OCED required Concept Paper submittals and reviewed 98 submissions, of which 23 were encouraged to submit a full application. In these Concept Papers, applicants proposed diverse clean energy projects on current and former mine land across 29 states and requested approximately $9.3 billion in federal funding—roughly 21 times the size of DOE’s $450 million solicitation. Proposed projects by the applicants included in aggregate more than $27 billion of their own capital alongside the DOE’s federal investment.

The evaluation criterion listed in the Funding Opportunity Announcement included factors such as project scope and how it would support the clean energy transition, a preliminary development plan and timeline, a high-level overview of a financially viable business model, information about the team’s qualifications and resources, meaningful community engagement strategies, demonstrated proof of land control, and more.

Throughout the Concept Paper review process, OCED sought to provide useful feedback and encouraged the strongest applicants to submit a Full Application. The Concept Paper process allows OCED to provide feedback to potential applicants to ensure they are producing the best applications possible and to better understand the types of full applications the department will receive.

DOE will treat applications and related information as confidential to the fullest extent possible, provided that applicants have not opted to publicly release the information. However, applicants who submitted Concept Papers are free to publicize their CEML Concept Papers and/or DOE’s response. These encourage/discourage notifications do not preclude any entity that submitted a Concept Paper from submitting a Full Application. The final application deadline is August 31, 2023 at 5 p.m., ET. DOE expects to announce projects selected for award negotiations in spring 2024.

For more information regarding the CEML program visit.

Image from Shutterstock.


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